TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and the Terre Haute Children’s Museum have partnered to create a sensory-friendly space-themed exhibit.

The exhibit is designed to look like or emulate the International Space Station, complementing the museum’s Total Ecplise of the Haute 2024 solar eclipse-inspired exhibit. The exhibit has also been built with inclusivity and accessibility in mind with the Arc of Vigo County being a primary sponsor in the exhibit’s construction. 

“We were approached last fall by The Arc of Indiana to see if we would be interested in partnering with them to work with Rose-Hulman on an exhibit that promoted inclusivity and we said, ‘yes absolutely that is definitely a target market that we’re trying to reach,’” said Susan Turner, Executive Director of the Terre Haute Children’s Museum. “We are a children’s museum for all children and so we want to be able to offer learning and fun to everyone we serve,” Turner added. 

A group of four junior biomedical engineering students at Rose-Hulman worked diligently on the project as they moved into their senior year. 

“This was a part of our design curriculum. This is by far the biggest task we’ve ever tackled as a team and we’ve had to really work together to make all of these elements happen and of course, work with the museum to make sure that we were meeting their needs and the needs of the local children and community. I think some of the biggest takeaways are really seeing how much of an impact we can have on our local community,” said Amelia Robinson, RHIT junior biomedical engineering student.

The accommodations of the new exhibit include ADA accessibility, low lighting, and low sound. 

“It’s meant to provide a sensory-friendly space. It’s a bit quieter and a bit darker and it kind of addresses those light and sound sensitivities that can be really triggering for some people. So it’s meant to be a safe space. Anyone is welcome to use it and interact with it,” Robinson explained.