Wichita, Kansas is a major hub of aircraft design and manufacturing, home to Cessna, Beechcraft, Leerjet, Airbus and Spirit AeroSystems, along with numerous public and private research, academic and training institutions. So it was natural for its hometown science center, Exploration Place, to choose aircraft design, engineering and manufacturing as the theme for its new signature STEM exhibit gallery.
Design Build Fly is a 5,000 square foot highly-interactive STEM exhibit, blending learning outcomes based in both process and content of airplane design and manufacturing. Visitors learn the tools and practice the methods that aircraft designers, engineers and builders use, while exploring a variety of interesting features of actual aircraft design and fabrication.
From the initial concept rendering, Design Build Fly has been envisioned as an exhibit built with and among a large number of authentic airplane sections. This required extensive coordination between suppliers, EP and Roto, from early design through all stages of engineering and fabrication.
"I knew when I signed on the dotted line [with Roto] that the project would be on time, on budget, and it would work. I needed to be able to sleep for those 18 months!"- Jan Luth, Executive Director, Exploration Place