Courtesy of Carnegie Science Center

Carnegie Science Center and Allegheny Health Network (AHN) announced a new partnership to develop BodyTech, a dynamic, three-pronged health and science educational program for the region Wednesday, May 20. The initiative includes a new exhibit at the Science Center called BodyWorks, the BodyStage live demonstration theater, and a new traveling science show, Anatomy Adventure, which will hit the road in the fall of 2015.

Designed to explore a wide range of topics surrounding health and the human body, BodyTech was conceptualized and created by the Carnegie Science Center staff and a team of healthcare professionals from AHN, including some of the Network’s physician leaders. AHN also is the presenting sponsor of the new program.

“We are extremely proud to join Carnegie Science Center in this unique endeavor to help educate more young people in our region about healthy living and cultivate greater interest in the health sciences,” John Paul, President and CEO of AHN, said. “BodyTech is a wonderful example of two organizations deeply committed to the health and vitality of our region coming together to invest in its future.”

Ron Baillie, co-director of Carnegie Science Center, added: “Every day, new medical and surgical advances are made to fight disease and help human beings live healthier lives. Much of this work is happening in the Pittsburgh region. Through this partnership with the experts at Allegheny Health Network, BodyTech opens up the possibilities to engage visitors in exciting ways in the science of the human body, and allows us to provide local students with an introduction to some exciting STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) careers in our region.”

The three components of BodyTech are:

• BodyWorks: This new exhibit will be located on the Science Center’s third floor adjacent to BodyStage, and like all of the Science Center’s exhibits will present hands-on, interactive experiences to help visitors grasp scientific concepts. BodyWorks will focus on four major areas of the body – cardiopulmonary, musculoskeletal, gastrointestinal, and brain/nervous systems – with content threads throughout related to medical technology, careers in health care, local connections, and health and safety. The exhibit will align with Next Generation Science Standards for the target audience of upper elementary/middle school students. BodyWorks is expected to open in late summer of 2016.

• BodyStage: This live demonstration theater, presented by Allegheny Health Network, opened in 2014, replacing the Science Center’s former Kitchen Theater. Since its debut less than a year ago, the BodyStage has already become a favorite of visitors of all ages. The shows presented in BodyStage explore themes related to health and medicine: nutrition, anatomy, and medical technology, with catchy titles like “Tasty Tidbits,” about the science of taste; “Scanning, Scopes, and Surgery,” about medical technology; and “It’s Alimentary, Watson!” about the digestive system. BodyStage shows are crafted to be enjoyable for all ages, while also geared to the Next Generation Science Standards for specific grade levels. BodyStage also offers the chance to explore science up-close. Visitors can handle a 5-pound block of ‘fat,’ explore MRI images, and see the fat content of various foods represented in colorful vials.

• Anatomy Adventure: This dynamic traveling show is the newest offering of Carnegie Science Center’s outreach program, Science on the Road. Science on the Road brings high-energy educational programming to schools, libraries, community centers, and other venues. Anatomy Adventure is an assembly program that takes children on a voyage through the bloodstream to learn about human body systems through the “eyes” of a miniature robotic probe. Live demonstrations explore the workings of the heart, lungs, stomach, kidneys, skeletal muscles, eyes, and brain. Nutrition and fitness are also addressed, along with cutting-edge innovations in cryogenics and lasers. The show includes an emphasis on local medical experts and potential STEM careers.

“The study of health and the human body, and the breakthrough technologies that have enabled transformations in our ability to heal it, are sure to fascinate visitors of all ages – and to awaken in some children a passion that will carry them into STEM careers,” Ann Metzger, co-director of Carnegie Science Center, said. “When students can connect STEM with enjoyable experiences now, they’re more likely to envision a future in which they can make an impact in fields like medicine, surgery, and medical technology.”