Behind the Scenes Tour of High-tech Museum Brings Classwork to Life

Large IIST student group of approximately 20 people in front of a black metal abstract sculpture
A group of IIST bachelor’s degree completion program students in front of a sculpture at Glenstone art museum in Potomac, MD during a field trip organized by CPS’s Career Services department.
September 02, 2019

A sense of awe and intrigue fills visitors as they enter the Glenstone Museum’s galleries displaying bold and unique installations from around the globe. Visitors also notice the distinctive setting in a natural landscape oasis. Visitors are less likely to be aware of the extensive IT infrastructure installations used throughout the facility, designed to enhance the museum experience.

CPS’s Integrated Information Science & Technology (IIST) program students had a unique opportunity to go behind the scenes earlier this year for a tour of Glenstone’s facility in Potomac, Maryland, led by their IT manager, Jason Hedges. He discussed the IT infrastructure design and challenges with the students, as well as gave them an in-depth tour of the technical infrastructure, their workspace and the art installations.

CPS’s Career Services Department organized the behind-the-scenes Glenstone tour for 18 IIST bachelor’s degree completion students. Career Services helps students network with potential employers, like Glenstone, where several IIST program alumni have already worked.

“This site visit was a great opportunity for our students to see behind the scenes work at Glenstone and it highlights how art and technology can come together to enhance the experience of the visitors,” said Dr. Sara Hooshangi, IIST program director.

Hedges discussed the design philosophy they used to plan and integrate the extensive IT installations throughout the facility. He works hard to integrate the technical elements into the art museum experience. Visitors should be focusing on the art, not distracted by dangling cables, weak Wi-Fi signals or other visual distractions from the museum’s exhibits.

IIST students at Glenstone conference room discussion

The in-depth tour included the Data Center, Operations Center, the Building Management Systems, Lighting Systems, as well as mechanical and storage parts of the museum. Students were able to see many kinds of technical equipment in use, such as cabling & fiber infrastructure, servers, switches, routers, Wi-Fi hubs, intercoms, temperature control systems and many other technical elements they had studied about.

Glenstone facility tour
The key to the facilities’ philosophy is designing everything to enhance the visitor’s experience. They are using many technical systems and processes to achieve that goal, including data analytics to decide how many tickets to distribute at timed intervals.

More information about Glenstone.