Discovery Place Science Launches Health Education Initiative with New Exhibition and Lab

Discovery Place Science

Carolinas HealthCare System, The Leon Levine Foundation and City of Charlotte provide $2.9 million of funding to support health education

CHARLOTTE - What makes you human? On October 7, celebrate the unique characteristics of human beings in two new experiences at Discovery Place Science with the opening of The Leon Levine Foundation resident exhibition, Being Me, and the Carolinas HealthCare System biomedical lab, Explore More Me.

Supported by Carolinas HealthCare System and The Leon Levine Foundation, Being Me and Explore More Me will facilitate a better public understanding of the life sciences and of human health by empowering visitors to ask questions and take ownership of their own well-being. The new experiences are located on Level 2 of Discovery Place Science and are the final phase of a series of Museum upgrades funded by the City of Charlotte in 2016.

“Thanks to the support of Carolinas HealthCare System and The Leon Levine Foundation, Discovery Place can provide deeper experiences in the life sciences with first-rate medical expertise, state-of-the-art technology and top-quality programming. Our community will be able to see, touch and interact with some of the best health experiences in the area,” said Discovery Place president and CEO, Catherine Wilson Horne.    

TheExplore More Me lab focuses on the microscopic level of the human body, looking at the cellular, tissue and organ levels of human health. Guests can explore individual cells and DNA, and work with state-of-the-art biotechnology. Featuring thematic units that change every two months, the new lab will give guests the opportunity to work with an interactive anatomy table, microscopes, plastinated human specimens and other medical tools. Carolinas HealthCare System physicians will work in partnership with Discovery Place educators to provide hands-on healthcare programs, offering guests and families the opportunity to dive even further into the world of health and wellness.

“Carolinas HealthCare System is looking forward to incorporating health science education into the lab space. In this collaboration with Discovery Place, we have an incredible opportunity to encourage children and young adults who may be considering a health career and engage many others who have never realized how much fun science can be.  Careers in the health sciences are tremendously rewarding and by encouraging this audience to explore, we can hopefully inspire budding health professionals and have a lasting impact on the future of our community,” said Dr. Dr. Mary Hall, Senior Vice President and Chief Academic Officer, Carolinas HealthCare System.

“We are proud to join Carolinas HealthCare System and the city of Charlotte in support of this creative and unique exhibit,” said Tom Lawrence, Executive Director of The Leon Levine Foundation. “This will undoubtedly be a great interactive learning experience for all who visit - especially youth. We applaud Discovery Place for leading the way.”

In Being Me, visitors will embark on a biological journey through the human body to explore the fundamentals of health and anatomy. From real anatomical specimens to virtual reality, some of the new exhibits visitors can look forward to include:

  • The Big Wheel: Use your body and engage in physical activity. This human-sized hamster wheel will have digital feedback to show your heart rate, speed and distance traveled to highlight that fun activity is a healthy habit to keep your body working in top form.
  • Insider Tours: Hop aboard the train platform and be prepared to shrink down to the cellular level for a simulated journey through the body. Using virtual reality (VR) technology, your virtual tour guide, Zoey, will greet you on the platform and help you navigate the ins and outs of your body systems.
  • Human Mirror: What if you looked in the mirror and could see your insides? Kinect technology will captures guests’ movements and generate a mirror image of their muscular, skeletal, cardiovascular, digestive or nervous systems in action.
  • Systems Showroom: In the showroom, explore three interactive stations centered on the Cardiovascular, Nervous, and Skeletal systems or Blood, Brains, and Bones. Use the VeinViewer to see how near infrared light can detect the vessels in your hand. As you move to the skeletal system, arrange specimens on the Bone Table to put a skeleton back together and learn about the largest and smallest bones in your body. A brain station will round out the Systems Showroom, where you can interact with the electric pulses sent between axons of neurons in a plasma ball sculpture, see a real human brain on display, and marvel at the intersection of science and art with a shimmering image of neuronal connections within the brain microetched in real gold.
  • What You Make and What Makes You: The human body is made up of lots of different components. Take a deconstructed look at the body to explore some interesting features that are inside of you and some surprising things that your body produces.

In both new experiences, guests can take an in-depth look at the human body with real plastinated specimens. Featuring a human torso from Gunther Von Hagens’ Institute for Plastination, guests can see some of the smaller organs up close, such as the kidneys, pancreas, uterus, ureters and bladder, which are normally obstructed by larger organs. Guests can also see real specimens, including a human femur, brain, the vascular system of a human heart, and more!

In the midst of all the new activities, models and specimens, guests may see one familiar face. TAM, the Transparent Anatomical Mannikin, came out of retirement for the opening of the new biomedical lab, and now stands outside the entrance of Explore More Me. Millions of school children around the country were taught health classes by TAM models from the 1960s-2000s, though only 42 models were ever produced. Discovery Place owns one of the first models, which was installed at Discovery Place Nature’s Hall of Health in 1968. TAM now stands outside the lab as a reminder of how technology has helped generations of students understand the human body.

Being Me and Explore More Me will open to the public on Saturday, October 7. All exhibits, activities and public programs in these spaces are included with Museum admission. Admission to Discovery Place Science is $17 for adults (14-59); $13 for children (2-13); $15 for seniors (60+); and free for Discovery Place Science Members and children younger than 2, plus tax. Discounts are available for groups of 15 or more. Children age 13 and younger must be accompanied by an adult while in the Museum. Guests can purchase tickets online at science.discoveryplace.org, via phone at 704.372.6261 x300 or in person.

About Discovery Place Science

One of the top hands-on science museums in the nation, Discovery Place Science provides ever-changing, entertaining facilities that engage people in the active exploration of science, technology and nature. The Museum brings relevant, contemporary science to life through groundbreaking exhibitions, interactive educational programming and hands-on activities.

Discovery Place Science is located in uptown Charlotte at 301 N. Tryon Street. Convenient parking is available in the Museum’s parking deck – the Carol Grotnes Belk Complex – at the corner of Sixth and Church Streets. For more information about Discovery Place, call 704.372.6261, visit discoveryplace.org or connect with Discovery Place Science on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

About Discovery Place

Discovery Place is a 501c3 nonprofit that provides STEM education to the Carolinas through four distinct museum experiences at Discovery Place Science, Discovery Place Nature and Discovery Place Kids, interactive educational programming, professional development training and community outreach initiatives.

Discovery Place is supported, in part, with funding from the Arts & Science Council.

About The Leon Levine Foundation

The Leon Levine Foundation’s mission is to improve the human condition by creating permanent, measurable and life-changing impact. The organization invests in nonprofits with a successful track record and a focus on sustainability in the areas of healthcare, education, Jewish values and human services.

Started by Leon Levine, the creator of the first Family Dollar Store in Charlotte, N.C., in 1980, the foundation has grown into one of the country’s largest and most impactful philanthropic organizations. For more information, please visit www.leonlevinefoundation.org.

About Carolinas HealthCare System

Carolinas HealthCare System (carolinashealthcare.org), one of the nation’s leading and most innovative healthcare organizations, provides a full spectrum of healthcare and wellness programs throughout North and South Carolina. Its diverse network of care locations includes academic medical centers, hospitals, freestanding emergency departments, physician practices, surgical and rehabilitation centers, home health agencies, nursing homes and behavioral health centers, as well as hospice and palliative care services. Carolinas HealthCare System works to enhance the overall health and wellbeing of its communities through high quality patient care, education and research programs, and numerous collaborative partnerships and initiatives.

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