I was given the privilege yesterday of attending the media preview of an exciting new exhibit opening TODAY at the McWane Science Center in downtown Birmingham.
Have you ever wondered how your body looks from the inside? What do veins look like? What about your brain? How is all of it connected? These questions and more can be answered by visiting Body Worlds Rx at McWane Science Center from now until May 1, 2016.
When I first entered the exhibit, I encountered the portrait of the man who began it all-Dr. Gunther von Hagens. It’s astounding to me that Dr. von Hagens began creating his technique of Plastination in 1977. I am obviously not a scientist, but even I can appreciate the painstaking care and delicacy of the work required to preserve a human body. Not only does this exhibit show preserved bodies, but also slices of preserved bodies (as well as organs, tissues, veins, and other various bodily items). I didn’t even know such a thing was possible.Continuing on through the exhibit, I became further and further engaged in the discussion it was presenting. Do we know what it looks like inside our body when we don’t treat it well? Why does our body respond this way or that way? What is the real secret to living a long, full life? Many would say eating right and exercising, but this exhibit proved to me that we have to engage our minds and our bodies together in order to gain longevity. This was so perfect for me to hear at this particular phase of my life. Yes, I want to take care about how I treat my body, but we have to treat our minds well too!This particular exhibit is making it’s world premiere debut at McWane Science Center, and I could not be more thrilled to have been one of the first to see it. From organs to muscles to the nervous system and skeletal structures, you will have an unprecedented look inside the intricate systems of the human body. Preserved by the process of Plastination, a complex technique that removes the fluids from the body and replaces them with plastics that harden, the specimens on display show impressive comparisons and contrasts between healthy bodies and organs and those stricken with disease. Particular emphasis is put on some of the most common ailments such as back pain, arthritis, cancer, diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular diseases, dementia, and more.Admission for non-members is $5 (in addition to the museum admission fee) and members get in free on their first visit and pay $2 on subsequent visits after the first initial visit. The material in the exhibit is on the more mature side, but only you can decide if your child is mature enough to handle the subject matter. I probably won’t be taking the twins just yet, but I can see how middle schoolers and above would greatly benefit from exposure to the science and ideas held in this exhibit. If nothing else, please stay and watch the video on Plastination at the end of the exhibit. It is incredibly informative and amazing that such a process exists to allow scientists, doctors, and common folk like us to study our bodies in this way!If you or your child has any remote interest in any scientific field, I urge you to go check out this amazing exhibit. It will be time and money well spent. For more information on McWane Science Center or the Body Worlds exhibits, be sure to click the links provided.