Press Release

What do Penicillin, PCs and Silly Putty have in common?

New website, The Science & Technology of WWII, helps students answer these questions and more


NEW ORLEANS (March 27, 2009) – The World War II years ushered in more advances in technology, medicine and other math and science related fields than any other era in history. Now students can explore how these advances affected not only the war, but our lives today, at The Science & Technology of WWII website (

The National World War II Museum in New Orleans produced as a creative and educational tool for exploring advances in everything from the food we eat to the way we travel to the atomic bomb. The website, as well as a colorful and informative free classroom poster, was made possible in part through funding from the GE Foundation.

Inspired by World War II era designs and themes,  lets visitors enter a darkroom to discover artifacts from the Museum’s science and technology collection, travel a timeline of the Manhattan Project, submit answers to ethical questions about the use of technology in warfare and send a top-secret coded message to friends.  Interactive features such as “Ask the Expert” and “Top Ten List” allow students to get feedback to their questions and vote for what they think some of the most important breakthroughs of the war years.

“Much of our everyday, modern life—our communications, our modes of travel, our medicine, even the way we run our businesses—can be considered the great-grandchildren of advances in science and technology realized during World War II,” said Kenneth Hoffman, the Museum’s Director of Education. “When students in both social studies and science classes encounter and explore these connections, the history and lessons of WWII become at once more familiar and more powerful.”

For teachers, offers lesson plans investigating radar and sonar technologies and analyzing how the Allies used the moon and tides to plan the D-Day invasion at Normandy.  A free classroom poster traces many modern conveniences back to World War II advances in science and technology.

In addition to the teaching tools on the website, The National World War II Museum also offers a Virtual Field Trip videoconference focusing on science and technology in World War II. This is one of many videoconferences available to schools with videoconferencing capabilities.

For more information on, to request a poster or to book a virtual field trip, call 877-813-3329 x 225.

The National World War II Museum tells the story of the American Experience in the war that changed the world – why it was fought, how it was won, and what it means today.  The Museum is in the midst of a $300 million multi-phase expansion project that will open its first buildings in the November 2009. The Victory Theater will show Beyond All Boundaries, an exclusive 4-D cinematic experience executive produced by Tom Hanks, and The Stage Door Canteen will be a nod to the days when a weary soldier could find a food, fun and fellowship at these remarkable venues.  For more information, call 877-813-3329 or 504-527-6012 or visit

The GE Foundation, the philanthropic organization of the General Electric Company, works to solve some of the world’s most difficult problems. In coordination with its partners, it supports U.S. and international education, the environment, public policy, human rights and disaster relief. In addition, the GE Foundation supports GE employee and retiree giving and involvement in GE communities around the world. In 2008, the entire GE family — including businesses, employees, retirees and GE Foundation — contributed more than an estimated $237 million to community and educational programs, including nearly $100 million from GE Foundation. For more information, visit