Hands On! exhibit offers visitors a look at human anatomy
Published 9:17 am Tuesday, February 10, 2015
A new exhibit at a local museum takes visitors inside the hidden universe that is the human body.
“Our Body: The Universe Within” opened Saturday at Hands On! Museum in Johnson City. The limited-time presentation consists of exhibits created from actual human bodies and organs.
“This exhibition is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the whole family,” Hands On! Museum Executive Director Andy Marquart said. “Every visitor who goes through this amazing experience will leave with a whole new appreciation and understanding of the human body.”
“Our Body: The Universe Within” is a traveling exhibition that has been seen by millions of people worldwide.
The display goes under the skin, revealing the mysteries of human anatomy.
Visitors will journey through each of the body’s major systems, seeing firsthand how they function and relate to other body systems. The exhibition was designed to educate and enlighten visitors on the complexities of the human body.
The exhibit includes of more than 200 specimens preserved using a method called “polymer impregnation,” which preserves the organs or tissues in an exact state. The exhibition was developed and provided by the Anatomical Sciences & Technologies Foundation in Hong Kong, according to the exhibition’s website.
The specimens were provided by various accredited Chinese universities, medical schools, medical institutions, research centers and laboratories to further the goals of the Anatomical Sciences & Technologies Foundation, which are to promote educational and medical research of the human body.
When visitors enter the exhibit at Hands On! Museum, they first encounter a time line on the study of anatomy throughout history, including details on advancements and important figures in the field of study.
As visitors move through the exhibit, they get the opportunity to see and learn about the work of each of the body’s major systems in a way that few outside the medical profession have ever seen.
“We’ve been working on this exhibit for about a year,” Marquart said. “We had some community partnerships who wanted to bring health exhibits here. We could not have done it without our community partnerships.”
Hands On Museum partnered with Donate Life to bring this special exhibit to Johnson City. Donate Life wanted to be part of the exhibit because it shows how bodies work and can be used to save the lives of others.
“We hope when people understand how their bodies work, and how their bodies can work in others, they’ll sign up to be organ donors to save up to eight lives,” Joy McCray, of Donate Life, said. “Right now in the United States, 130,000 people are waiting for a transplant. That’s more than the population of Johnson City and Kingsport combined. We encourage everyone to visit this exhibit with an open mind to learn about the mystery and miraculous things inside of each of us.”
The exhibition is being held in space next to the actual Hands On Museum and is a separate event from the museums normal operation, Marquart said.
“Hands On is still functioning as Hands On,” he said. “If parents don’t want to bring their children through the exhibit they don’t have to. It’s in a completely separate venue.”
The exhibition will be on display in Johnson City for approximately six months, closing the first week of August, Marquart said. The cost to visit Our Body: The Universe Within is $15 for adults age 15 and older, $12 for children ages 5-14 and $12 for Hands One members. Group rates of $9 for groups of 10 or more are available with advance registration.
“Our Body: The Universe Within” will operate on the same schedule as Hands On! Museum’s normal hours. “If the response is overwhelming we may open up separate hours,” Marquart said. The exhibit is open Tuesday-Friday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.; Saturday from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. and Sunday from 1-5 p.m.
The museum is closed on Mondays in February, April and May, but will be open on Mondays during March, June and July from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. For more information on the exhibition, visit the traveling exhibit’s website at www.ourbodytheuniversewithin.net/ or contact Hands On Museum at 423-434-4263.