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Human Body Gallery Fact sheet
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The Human Body Gallery, a 6,000-square-foot gallery packed with activities that invite visitors to explore how the human body functions, and also how we use our bodies to express our culture and ourselves.
Science Museum of Minnesota, level 4
Custom-developed by the museum's own exhibit programming staff, the Human Body Gallery is a highlight of the Science Museum for visitors of all ages.
The Human Body Gallery invites visitors to see their own bodies in ways they never have before. With interactive exhibits covering body structures, functions, breakdowns, and repairs, the Human Body Gallery helps visitors understand and appreciate what it means to be human.
Wonder Years: Although research shows that 90% of brain development occurs before age five, public investment in the care and education of those children currently accounts for less than 5% of Minnesota's education funding. Through videos, biological specimens, puzzles, games and dialog with others, visitors will investigate the development of the brain and the disconnect that exists between what science tells us about the developmental needs of young children and what society does to support it. They'll explore the extraordinary growth and change children undergo in their earliest years and discover the crucial impact that each of us has on the healthy development of our youngest citizens.
Cell Lab: Visitors can don a lab coat, gloves, and goggles, then follow procedures for extracting DNA, testing enzymes, identifying a mystery microbe, looking at fruit fly chromosomes, or looking at their own cheek cells under a microscope. They'll test the anti-microbial powers of various soaps and cleansers, look at four types of protozoa and compare these single-celled organisms to human cells, or learn how blood typing works. Computer lab companions and staff/volunteers explain the procedures and offer helpful hints if budding scientists need assistance at any point. Presented by Medtronic.
Perception Theater: This lively 20-minute program lets you explore how your brain can play tricks on you through a show packed with surprises and "magic show" style optical illusions. Imaging technology, video, audio, props, and animation help you understand how the brain turns stimuli into perceptions.
The Bloodstream Superhighway: This 100-foot-long, two-inch-diameter clear plastic "blood vessel" allows visitors to feel the pulse as a giant pumping mechanism forces sparkling red fluid to circle the gallery's cardiovascular exhibits. In this area, visitors can lounge in blood-cellshaped chairs, take their blood pressure, and see the heart's electrical signals with an electrocardiogram machine. A variety of exhibits and activities in this area explain how the heart and lungs work together, and show some of the medical advances that can help when the system breaks down.
Tissues: This exhibit area introduces visitors to tissues, explores disease processes, and shows how new tissues form in the body. Visitors will inspect a six-foot-long hand with giant-sized wounds and learn about the healing process. They'll play "Bacteria Blaster," a video game that tests their ability to take a throat swab and teaches the best way to use antibiotics. They'll see cross-sections of two human bodies and look for clues about their lives. And they'll try to solve three "tissue mysteries" by looking at real human tissue samples.
"The Sneezer": How do germs spread? Visitors will find out, as they open a small door on a graphic of a girl's face and feel the spray of a pretend sneeze (actually a mist of water). Accompanying text discusses what is in a sneeze, how we catch colds, and the role of white blood cells in the immune system.
The Body Hotel: The human body is a home for many other living organisms. Visitors will use a magnifying glass and microscopes to see the variety of parasites that can live in the human environment.
Scope-on-a-rope: This handheld magnifying camera gives visitors of all ages a unique chance to get an up-close look at their skin, hair and clothing. They'll examine their wounds and scars and see the healing process at work!