Saturday, October 10, 2009

It's All About You!

This past Wednesday I rode Melisa (with 1 S's) coattails I attended a media event preview of the new exhibit YOU! The Experience at Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry thanks to Melisa lobbying to get me access too. Described by the museums website as "A new permanent exhibit celebrating the connection between the human mind, body and spirit. "

As is the case with any field trip that Melisa and I have, we had a blast and here is one of my favorite pics of all time to prove it! Doesn't it look like we are having a great time?
I know that many of you are not local to the Chicago area, but you may want to take a roadtrip with the family this fall because on weekdays through October the museum of Science & Industry admission is FREE! It's a really cool, hands-on and all around interesting museum for all ages to enjoy and no one will ever complain of being bored. There is so much to do, not just see and the Chicago Museums do a great job of disguising education with entertainment.

This particular exhibit was no exception. There is so much interactive play to be had and science being introduced in an engaging and fun format, covering development in utero, to relaxation, bionics, medical miracles and human interaction.

There is a 2 player game that measures your brain waves via sensors to determine your level of relaxation. A ball moves back and forth tug-of-war style based on who is sending more relaxed brain waves! Tres muy cool.

I surmise that I was way more stimulated than Melisa.

There was also something that neither of us was brave enough to try a console that would take your picture and then age it according your lifestyle and habits. Also a massive 3-D beating human heart that you can sink up to your own heartbeat by touching sensors. (sorry the video is sideways)

There was much to do and see, like the interactive bionic arm,
and the sensor light that showed all of the veins in your hand,

One of my favorite interactives was the human sized hamster wheel! Now with more sideways video!

Melisa is such a sport!This is all only the tip of the iceberg, I haven't even mentioned the video shown of Tanner, the High School junior that had to have the Entire Right Side of His BRAIN removed when he was 8, due to extremely frequent Grand Mal Seizures. Tanner and his Mom were both on site and available to chat. Let me just say that not only is he a medical miracle who is articulate, bright, and rocks his tennis team, but he is also a cutie and a half who must be beating the ladies away with a stick. Both he and his mother were wonderful to talk to and spoke with grace and gratefulness. Tanner's was a very experimental surgery. Doctors nor his parents knew what to expect on the other side of the surgery, but through faith in God, they had a peace all through this ordeal and tanner is amazing! You would never believe that 1/2 of his brain was removed if you met him on the street. He can beat you in tennis and attract the ladies with 1/2 his brain completely missing! What have you done today?

The exhibit itself is advertised 'for all ages'. However, I would be very careful about directing the younger of my children around. Some of the exhibit is various cuts of of the human body (very interesting, but enough to gross Melisa out a bit) and a human specimen, in all of his naked glory to be viewed in the name of education.
Let's just say, he maintained no bragging rights.

Something that I found very intriguing while observing, was a greatly darkened room with a wall of back-lit human development chronicling from early gestation in the womb to full term baby. As I looked as this part of the exhibit, I was amazed at how detailed and lifelike these models of human life encased in clear rectangles were. That's about the time that Melisa read the wall information that these were not plastic models we were looking at. We both found that quite disturbing and felt the need to move away from that part of the exhibit. I have some of the video we took but will tell you to use discretion in watching it. The quality is not great due to lighting and this only covers some of this part of the exhibit.
When we first arrived there were school children of the 4th to 6th grade variety. They jumped from one interactive to another and were clearly enjoying their field trip. Soon after they they exited a school trip of teens entered. The teens were very intrigued and engaged in all the aspects of the exhibit. I personally would recommend this exhibit for ages 13-adult. That is the group that will gain the most from the exhibit. I encourage you to visit, especially while you can do so for free!

There is so much more to this exhibit that is not being covered here. I encourage you to visit the museum and to visit Suburban Scrawl to read Melisa's companion post chronicling her experiences of the exhibit.

*Funny coincidence that we both titled our posts "It's All About You" . You know what they say about great minds.

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Melisa with one S said...

Great post! I wish I were there!

Oh wait, I was. Lots of fun with you as always! :)

The Microblogologist said...

The exhibit with the babies has been there for at least 20 years if it is the same one I've seen in the past. It is fascinating to see but definitely disturbing knowing that they are real. I'm pretty sure that most if not all of them were from miscarriages and their parents donated them to science. Whenever someone says a fetus is "just a blob of tissues" I think of those babies and if I am in the conversation I remind them that they are also just a blob of tissues... A coworker in the deli called my niece that when she asked why my 18 year old sister didn't just kill her.

That museum is one of the coolest there is, LOVE Melisa's hamster wheel vid and pic! Please tell me they have a warning about the gentleman pictured above... I definitely don't feel Niecey is old enough to see a dissected dude, bad enough she saw her baby cousin getting his diaper changed. She was quite curious what the "lumps" were, she informed us all that she has "loops", hahaha!

seashore subjects said...

I love this museum. And I vividly remember the embryo exhibits from my childhood and beyond. It definitely left a huge impression (but not something I would walk Youngest through) What a wonderful and educational activity!

seashore subjects said...

PS - we will be around over Thanksgiving. Call me soon so we can touch base!

Heather said...

I cannot WAIT to go! This looks SO awesome, and like I told Melisa, it made me kinda sad! I MISS you guys!


Bad Momma said...

Very cool! We'll put this on our list when we make it up there for a visit.

CK Lunchbox said...

I totally love that place - so many good times there with my kids. Hopefully there will be more in the future. I got a bunch of pics there in my Christmas slide show post.

Looks like you thoroughly enjoyed yourselves.

terri said...

That looks like such an amazing exhibit! I'd love to have a chance to see it, but I don't think it'll happen anytime soon. Thanks for sharing your experience!

de-I said...

Wow! That looks really, really, cool. I wish that my Chicago trips did not always have to be so condensed into business.

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