Perot Museum Announces New Texas Instruments Engineering and Innovation Hall

There's really no bad time to check back in on construction at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science -- but especially on a day like today, when some serious money has just changed hands.

In a ceremony high atop the next-door Park Seventeen building, the museum announced Texas Instruments had secured the hotly contested naming rights to the 5,500 square-foot second-floor wing now known as the Texas Instruments Engineering and Innovation Hall. The well-dressed crowd -- which included such luminaries at the Dallas Film Society's Michael Cain and mayoral hopeful Edward Okpa -- had a stunning view of the construction progress at the museum that'll open in early 2013 as the jewel in Victory Park's spacious crown.

TI Foundation chairman Sam Self picked up where Ross Perot left off back in March, lamenting that the U.S. is still nowhere the best in the world at producing the "technically competent people" that keep businesses running. "Science and math skills are the critical thing they need, but we're falling behind," he said.

Thanks to TI's $4.4 million donation, head fundraiser Forrest Hoglund said the museum had collected $156 million so far -- $29 million shy of its goal, if you're scoring at home. The new hall will include such hands-on exhibits as an earthquake simulator table, a wind tunnel and a build-your-own-robot station.

The morning event was preceded by a handful of science-fair-style demos by Peak Preparatory students in white lab coats, and capped off by some pun-filled demonstrations of light bulbs and electricity -- shots of which all follow after the jump.

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