Pixar coming to the Museum of Science
Twenty years ago, as a mechanical engineering professor at Tufts University, Yannis Miaoulis had a big dream, one that was as noble as it was crazy. He wanted engineering to be taught in every school in the country by 2015.
Today, Miaoulis oversees the Museum of Science as its president. He hasn’t quite reached the high bar for 2015 that he set back when he was at Tufts. But Miaoulis and his team have made huge strides in getting engineering introduced in the schools. At least 30 employees work on spreading engineering into kids’ lives under the museum’s National Center for Technological Literacy banner.
Miaoulis will also get some help this summer from a talking car and a toy astronaut: The museum is planning an exhibit inspired by Pixar movies such as “Cars” and “Toys,” a show that will eventually hit the road after its debut this summer in Boston.
The goal isn’t simply for kids to be able to trade high-fives with Buzz Lightyear. Miaoulis and his team hope that visitors will learn about computer science in a fun way. By the start of the next school year, museum officials expect to have developed related lesson plans that can be used in schools.
Of course, this isn’t just an altruistic mission. The organization’s National Center for Technological Literacy programs brought in $5.2 million in revenue last year, nearly 10 percent of the museum’s total revenue. That was up from $4.5 million in the previous year.
— JON CHESTO
Putters for Putnam seek a higher profile
When Keegan Bradley is on his game at a PGA Tour event, golf fans watching on TV see a sweet swing — and a Putnam Investments logo on his shirt.
But when Bradley is off, the Boston financial services firm gets far less exposure, as cameras train their lenses on the leaders. Putnam aims to up its airtime by adding two more golfers to its endorsement roster Thursday: tour winner Brendan Steele and rookie Jon Curran.
“It’s risk management,” said Mark McKenna, Putnam’s global marketing head. “That’s what we do.”
Only Bradley will be in the field next week at The Masters, the first major championship of the year, but Steele and Curran — Bradley’s former teammate at Hopkinton High School — will probably appear in many other tournaments.
All three players are ranked among the top 100 in this season’s FedEx Cup standings.
If Bradley were to win The Masters, he and his Putnam shirt would be all over TV — until the awards ceremony. In one of the sport’s most unusual and most famous traditions, the champion dons a green jacket that invariably covers corporate images. “That’ll be a champagne problem if it happens,” McKenna said.
— CALLUM BORCHERS
Biotech on the menu at La Laboratoire
Some guests went to the Ibsen Bioscience symposium Wednesday for the networking. Others went for the lunch at La Laboratoire Cambridge, the trendy new art and design center that includes a restaurant.
MIT biology professor Robert A. Weinberg, a member of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, went for the peptides.
The symposium, titled “Connecting with Creativity,” was a reference to the alliances being forged between biopharma companies and academic researchers in Kendall Square.
Ibsen, a French pharma that opened labs last summer upstairs from La Laboratoire, “is coming into town with a new technology that is relatively unexplored in the Boston area, which is peptides that can function as highly targeted drugs,” Weinberg said. He was joined at the event by other science and business notables such as Robert Langer and Phillip Sharp from MIT, David Edwards and Steven Pinker of Harvard, and Roger Guillemin from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, Calif. — ROBERT WEISMAN
Highland takes on the city’s ballparks
Boston is about to get a reminder that spring really is here, courtesy of the Newton-based Highland Street Foundation, whose roughly $200 million in assets comes largely from the 1997 sale of the Cambridge staffing firm TAD Resources International.
First, through a partnership with the Red Sox and the city, the foundation is picking up the $125,000 tab to renovate 10 city ballparks. Upgrades will vary according to the parks’ conditions, and the foundation’s executive director, Blake Jordan, describes some of them as “in very rough shape.”
The foundation will also pay for half the $45,000 cost of building a replica Yawkey Way on Boston Common for a day of public fun on Sunday, June 28, when the team will be in Florida playing the Tampa Bay Rays. The Sox, owned by Boston Globe publisher John Henry, will pay for the other half.
— SACHA PFEIFFERCan’t keep a secret? Tell us.
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