Ride a Hovercraft at The Children's
Science and Technology Museum
A chair that rides on air!
29 August 2002
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
A new exhibit at the Children's Science and Technology
Museum of Terre Haute gives area children a chance
to experience the hands-on thrill of piloting a hovercraft.
The exhibit, titled "The Science of Hovercraft … It's
Just a Matter of Inches" features a one-passenger
HoverChair designed especially for museums.
According to the museum's Executive Director, Jerry
Mansfield, "The exhibit, especially the HoverChair
is a huge success, the most popular permanent exhibit
in the museum. It has quickly become the focal point
of almost every visitor's experience. Children are
fascinated by sitting in a chair that rides on air,
especially those in the 8-10 age range."
The Museum plans to feature the interactive hovercraft
exhibit as a major component of its school curriculum
The HoverChair was engineered and built by Chris Fitzgerald
and James Wallace III. Fitzgerald is President of Neoteric
Hovercraft, Inc., Terre Haute, and Chairman of World
Hovercraft Week. He is also the Chairman of DiscoverHover,
and upcoming Build-a-Hovercraft school project for
students, clubs and youth groups throughout the world.
Wallace is Director of "Students, Science and
Hovercraft … Oh My!" a hovercraft building
project that will take place at the World Hovercraft
According to Fitzgerald, "The hovercraft concept
is a likable technology – it makes people smile.
But not only is the HoverChair intriguing and unique,
it also opens a child's eyes to an interest in physics." Fitzgerald
continues, "We've been manufacturing hovercraft
in Terre Haute for thirty years and distributing them
throughout the world. The Children's Museum exhibit
is also an opportunity for young people to learn about
an important manufacturing process happening right
in their home town."
As a part of the development process, the Museum's
HoverChair was exhibited at the recent Terre Haute
Air Fair, where a group of children from the Indianapolis
Children's Museum's Aerospace Adventures Camp were
the first to try it out. After the spectacular reception
of this trial flight, the success of the Museum exhibit
is no surprise.
The Children's Science and Technology Museum of Terre
Haute, located at 523 Wabash Avenue, is open from 9:00
a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Admission
is $2.50 for adults, and $2.00 for children up to age
In addition to the Children's Museum HoverChair exhibit,
World Hovercraft Week, coming to Terre Haute September
15-22, will feature numerous activities for children
and teens, including:
September 19-22 at the World
Hovercraft Championship Race Site
(Wabash Valley Family Sports Center)
James Wallace III will direct groups of science students
from all four Terre Haute high schools in how to build
a hovercraft. On September 22, participating students
will learn to pilot the finished hovercraft on land
and water. The entire school hovercraft project will
be broadcast live on the Internet via Web Cam.
Wallace has a background in physics, geography and
astronomy education, as well as in fabricating hovercraft
at Neoteric Hovercraft, Inc.
Hovercraft History Exhibit
Exhibits from The British Hovercraft Museum are traveling
to America for display during the World Hovercraft
Championship at the Wabash Valley Family Sports Center
Model Hovercraft Competition
Also of interest to children during World Hovercraft
Week will be the ongoing radio-controlled model hovercraft
activities at the Wabash Valley Family Sports Center
World Hovercraft Week offers a once-in-a-lifetime
opportunity for both children and adults to experience
a unique international event. The World Hovercraft
Championship occurs every two years, and has not been
held in the United States since 1989. The next major
international hovercraft event will be HoverWorld
Expo 2004, a commemoration of the World's First Hovercraft
Race in Canberra, Australia. Through the DiscoverHover
school program, Fitzgerald plans to give participating
schools the opportunity to build a hovercraft and
race it at HoverWorld Expo.
(Unfortunately, HoverWorld Expo has been
Neoteric Hovercraft, Inc.
Jerry Mansfield, Executive Director
Children's Science and Technology Museum of Terre Haute