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usaas 100 years of innovation 1

Jul. 19, 2022 | Families can enjoy free hands-on scientific experiments include silly putty, night vision, virtual reality, walkie talkies and drones

Navy Pier Celebrates USAA’s 100 Years of Innovation With a Traveling Interactive Lab, Fort Innovate™

Please be aware that the content on this webpage was authored more than 6 months ago, so some information may be outdated or no longer accurate. Please visit our event calendar for information on current events.

CHICAGO— Navy Pier is partnering with USAA to bring Fort Innovate, a free, traveling innovation lab, to children and their families from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, July 22 through Sunday, July 24. The mobile scientific lab helps inspire the next generation of big thinkers.

Inside Fort Innovate, visitors will learn about military innovations that have had a profound impact on society, such as silly putty, night vision, virtual reality, walkie talkies and drones. They’ll also have the chance to complete fun interactive challenges involving these innovations that will inspire their creativity and problem-solving skills.

To complement the traveling lab, USAA is launching the USAA Innovation Sweepstakes to provide participants with the opportunity to further explore innovation and their creativity through the chance to win a trip for four to Space Camp® at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center and $50,000. Visitors to Fort Innovate can register onsite and those unable to make it in person can register at

Friday, July 22 – Sunday, 24, 2022

  • Friday, July 22 (10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.) Best option for press avails with USAA spokesperson
  • Saturday, July 23 (10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.)
  • Sunday, July 24 (10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.)
  • USAA spokesperson: Christian Bove, USAA Lead Communications Director
  • USAA spokesperson: Mike Magnetta (Ret.)Military Affairs Representative
  • Navy Pier spokesperson: Felicia Bolton, Director of Communications and PR

USAA was founded in 1922 by a group of soldiers who couldn’t obtain auto insurance because they were considered high risk. Leading the way with innovative thinking, they formed United Services Automobile Association (USAA) and the legacy of innovation and service to the military community has been a constant ever since.

Note: All events, speakers and dates are subject to change.

Photos of Fort Innovate: Click Here

About Navy Pier

Navy Pier is the People’s Pier, Chicago’s lakefront treasure, welcoming all and offering dynamic and eclectic experiences through partnerships and programs that inspire discovery and wonder.

Since its reopening in 1995, more than 180 million guests have come to enjoy the Pier’s 50 acres of unparalleled attractions and experiences. In 2022, Navy Pier continues to evolve into an accessible, year-round centerpiece for Chicago’s diverse arts and cultural treasures.


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