INDIANAPOLIS — The crew of The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis invites visitors to boldly go where many people have gone before on TV and in movies, but few have experienced in person.

For more than 50 years, the U.S.S. Enterprise has explored the final frontier and beyond in the television series Star Trek and subsequent films. Now, the museum will “beam you up” to explore “Star Trek: Exploring New Worlds,” which opened on Feb. 2 and is on view through April 7.

Scientific exploration and intergalactic diplomacy were a big part of the television series in which alien creatures helped us understand the world in which we live. In this exhibit, fans will learn how science fiction inspired real space travel and how modern space travel inspires science fiction.  The immersive exhibit explores the impact of Star Trek on culture, society, art, technology, and fashion.

The exhibit, under license by CBS Consumer Products, features more than 100 rare artifacts from the television series and films.

Highlights include:

Captain Kirk’s chair (replica)

The ship’s navigation console from the original series

Original series tricorder

Film era communicators

Original series phaser

Borg cube from Star Trek: First Contact

Klingon disruptor pistols from Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Star Trek: The Next Generation, and Star Trek: Generations

Original series costumes worn by Captain Kirk, Mister Spock, Lieutenant Commander Uhura, and Dr. McCoy

Data’s uniform from Star Trek: The Next Generation


Ship models used in the filming of TV shows and films, including the 6-foot U.S.S. Enterprise filming model from Star Trek: The Next Generation

Transporter simulator in which visitors are invited to create a film that shows them being beamed to another location

KHAAAAN! video booth where visitors can recreate the memorable scene from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis Star Trek exhibit
“Star Trek: Exploring New Worlds” is on view at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis through April 7.
Photos: The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

Not only did Star Trek spur technology (think communicator and cell phone) and inspire new generations to study science and technology, but the original series promoted equality and pushed boundaries of racism and prejudice and demonstrated to people how to get along with one another. Its multi-racial cast showed the importance of team building, using each person or being’s strengths to make a crew stronger. Captain Kirk taught us how to be loyal to our crew and the United Federation of Planets.

“Star Trek has entertained, educated and inspired generations of fans which makes an exhibit exploring Star Trek’s role in advancing science and technology a perfect fit for The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis,” said Dr. Jeffrey H. Patchen, president and CEO, The Children’s Museum. “Together, families will undoubtedly reminisce about the past, enjoying the iconic characters and artifacts they’ve loved, while discussing the impact Star Trek has had influencing the future by promoting equality and advancing science and popular culture. 

Fans will be thrilled to hear the real voice of actor George Takei, aka Hikaru Sulu, helmsman of the U.S.S. Enterprise. The pop culture icon will narrate an exciting, new sound and light show specifically for The Children’s Museum’s Schaefer Planetarium and Space Object Theater. Opening in conjunction with “Star Trek: Exploring New Worlds,” the Space Object Theater transforms into a new multimedia experience exploring how popular science fiction has predicted and helped shape scientific and technological advancements. Featured in the center of the Space Object Theater on a revolving and raising platform will be the real escape pod used by Captain Kirk in the 2016 film Star Trek: Beyond.

“Star Trek: Exploring New Worlds” is presented by EdChoice. It is supported by Aquafina and FA Wilhelm.

The exhibit was organized by Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP), Seattle, Washington.