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Executive Director of Computer Museum of America Rena Youngblood is in the studio for today’s episode of Atlanta Real Estate Forum Radio. Joined by co-hosts Carol Morgan and Todd Schnick, the group discusses several can’t miss exhibits, fun-filled summer camps and an exciting in-person event!
Youngblood is the first Executive Director of the Computer Museum of America. Before joining the museum team, she worked in education and association for over 10 years. She was with the Georgia Charter School Association for seven years and then moved on to the National Teacher’s Association for five years. In January of 2020, Youngblood fell in love with the potential of the museum and started working with the nonprofit.
The mission of the Computer Museum of America is to preserve, educate, inspire and empower. The museum is designed to help everyone – children and adults – remember how far we have advanced with technology in a relatively short amount of time. Located in Atlanta, the museum offers a look into the past and a glimpse of the future of computing.
Due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, the Computer Museum of America had to make several changes like many other businesses in the world. During this change, the museum shifted its focus internally. While visitors were not allowed to attend the museum, the staff of the Computer Museum of America worked to upgrade the design and layout of the building to better prepare for when people could return.
The Computer Museum of America is gearing up for its first event planned to take place on April 29, 2021. Bytes, Brews and Bourbon is the first of many after-hours events. Taking place on Thursday from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., the event will have live music from The Bourbon Brothers, delicious light appetizers, adult beverages for purchase and the unveiling of a new exhibit. The new exhibit will feature computers from movies.
The museum currently has several fun-filled and informative exhibits for attendees to peruse. The Timeline of Computer History offers a complete timeline of artifacts from the digital past through today. Highlights include Datapoint 2200, Altair 8800 and an original Apple 1, as well as Atari 2600, Gameboy, Nintendo, Commodore 64 and so much more! The entire timeline has over 2,000 points of interest.
Another fascinating exhibit at the museum is A Tribute to Apollo 11. This immersive exhibit offers viewings of an animated documentary, Getting to the Moon and Back, as well as several types of computers NASA used. The exhibit also features dioramas of scenes from Apollo 11-17.
A Tribute to Apollo 11 joined the museum after the 50th anniversary of the mission in 2019.
The Supercomputing exhibit at the Computer Museum of America offers an extensive collection of supercomputers. This exhibit illustrates the impact of these machines on daily lives from weather predictions to artificial intelligence and cybersecurity.
The most recent exhibit from the Computer Museum of America is The Enigma Machine. Used by the Germans in World War II, this machine was designed to secure communication between military personnel.
Around 40,000 Enigma machines were created, and it is estimated that less than 300 are currently intact today.
Gearing up for the summer, the Computer Museum of America has four week-long camps planned in the upcoming months. Attendance in the summer camps will be capped at 10 campers per class. The Full STEAM Ahead summer camp is designed for fourth- through eighth-graders. Each day, campers will take on one of the elements of STEAM, progressing through science, technology, engineering, art and math. Running from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, the camp is expected to have tons of fun activities, experiments and learning opportunities. To register for one of the summer camps, visit www.computermuseumofamerica.org/calendar.
In addition to the 35,000 square feet of museum, the Computer Museum of America also has a customizable 10,000 square foot ballroom, a 4,000 square foot entrance gallery, classrooms and flex space. These areas can be used to host private and corporate events. To learn more about how to host your next event at the Computer Museum of America, visit www.computermuseumofamerica.org/plan-your-event.
To learn more about the Computer Museum of America and its several fun-filled exhibits, visit www.computermuseumofamerica.org. Also, be sure to listen to the full interview above!
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