BodyWorks: a show with heart

7th December 2012 at 00:00
Biomedical sciences are being brought to life for pupils. Henry Hepburn dissects a new exhibition

Glasgow Science Centre staff and university academics have teamed up to bring biomedical sciences to life for schools, in the centre's biggest collaboration of its type.

The permanent BodyWorks exhibition, which opens to the public in March, will use 115 interactive exhibits, as well as live laboratory experiences, to raise awareness of the science behind human health and well-being.

Project leader Gillian Lang said that, although the centre had previously worked with academics, their contribution to BodyWorks surpassed any previous exhibition - 190 researchers have been involved.

On some days, the academics will be part of the exhibition themselves, explaining what excites them about their work; Dr Lang believes their passion will leave a mark on young visitors.

Some of her favourite attractions include a human hamster wall and a hand-pin wall - a giant version of the gadget-shop gift. Other exhibits will look at facial attractiveness, Alzheimer's and perceptions of body size, while motion-capture technology will be used to create a sports-based puzzle.

A key concept will be that "We are all scientists". Visitors will scan a personal bar code, measuring their performance in a series of physical challenges to show the impact each has on the body. This information will be retained for comparison on future visits.

Academics are contributing in a range of ways: Terry Gourlay of the University of Strathclyde will build an artificial heart and Sue Black of the University of Dundee will plastinate human livers.

Glasgow Science Centre chief executive Stephen Breslin says scientists from universities and technology companies "ensure that we deliver a really exciting exhibition, which reflects the state-of-the-art innovations in the industry".

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