New Thing #338: Body Worlds Exhibit

Body_WorldsScience isn't exactly my favorite subject in the world. This is in part because some elements of science make me uncomfortable.

I'm a fainter.

I won't get into it now, but if something causes me discomfort (usually that something involves another person being in pain - like childbirth), I could black out.

So when my co-teacher proposed checking out the Body Worlds exhibit in anticipation of a possible class trip, I wasn't sure how I'd respond.

But I knew it would make a great New Thing.

So on Monday night we walked through the exhibit.

The current iteration of the exhibit is on display at Faneuil Hall. (I'm not sure what makes this version different from previous versions, but I know there was another display that came through Boston a few years ago and it got a whole lot more press and was somewhat controversial.)

On Mondays they allow educators to tour the exhibit for free, so we took advantage of that opportunity.

I learned a TON.

I don't often stop to think about all of the crazy things the body is capable of…and (perhaps obviously), it's even less often I have visuals right there to accompany what I'm learning about the body and how it works.

Concepts I hadn't really thought of before made a lot of sense when I looked at them in this display - like carpal tunnel syndrome - just seeing how it was described with the hand model that was there made it click for me.

It was also interesting to see a stomach and intestines and other internal organs all laid out in such a way that I was able to put together the way they all worked. (Not so interesting: The BMI converter that told me I was overweight. Maybe we should have visited before Thanksgiving weekend.)

I walked into the exhibit thinking it wasn't terribly appropriate for fifth graders…and while we're still not sure at this point if we'll do it as a field trip, I left that room thinking that it would be a great learning experience for them.

And I know there's a little bit of a stir about the exhibit, I think about how the people whose bodies are being used didn't necessarily give permission for this sort of thing. I don't know - maybe I should look that up.

But I do know that walking through the exhibit I wasn't thinking about controversies.

My only thought was how amazing it is that the human body works the way it does, and how I'm glad I didn't chicken out of seeing the exhibit.