Jean West returned to one of her sons’ favorite weekend destinations as a committee member for a groundbreaking new exhibit. Uniquely Human is a must-see for kids of all ages.
Written by Jean West | Photo courtesy of the Kentucky Science Center (Louisville)
It was the best deal for families with children.
For many years we alternated on weekends, my sons choosing which they wanted to visit when weather wasn’t a deciding factor. If it was raining the Science Center always won. Unlike other attractions, Science Center staff say they pray for rain. It brings in the families.
It was on such a rainy day on Thursday, June 20, that I once again visited that sweet reminder of my children’s younger days, not as a parent, but as a participant in the ribbon cutting for the Kentucky Science Center’s newest exhibit in 20 years, Uniquely Human.
Mike Norman, the Center Director, has this to say about this new addition, “Uniquely Human is a new approach to health sciences, intentionally different from the traditional health and anatomy exhibits you are used to seeing in science centers. Rather than covering the topic from the body systems model that is prevalent in health exhibits, we wanted to present via the intersection of health and humanity. We want visitors to explore how health and humanity are connected, and how those connections shape who we are, how we think, and what we feel.”
In other words, this is not your mother’s Science Center.
I was there to represent the Advisory Committee on which I served with other exceptional people in the Science, Public Health, and Education community. Former Science Center Director Jo Hass was instrumental in forming the committee. The project began under her tenure.
“The highly theatrical World Within Us exhibit done in the 90’s was perfect for an era when cell phones were not ubiquitous. Today, information about the human body and how it works is at one’s fingertips. What we are missing, however, is deeper human connection and an opportunity to reflect, connect and act on insights about ourselves and others. When it was time for a third-floor overhaul, because of outdated content and equipment that could not be fixed and replaced, we knew the intersection of health and humanity offered us a unique chance to play our part in helping inspire both healthy lifestyles and forge a healthier community at large.”
As she gave me a tour of the new exhibit, we came upon a huge digital wall. All the Colors of We is an amazing digital billboard that collects pictures of the hands of visitors and translates each image into a mosaic of skin – tone Pantone colors.
She asked if I wanted to be a permanent part of the exhibit. Of course I said yes. So my hands are there, on that wall.
Uniquely Human – exploring that which makes us “uniquely” human – our brains, our minds, our perceptions.
The Kentucky Science Center wins again — and not because of the rain.
If you want to learn more:
For more information or tickets, go to KYScienceCenter.org.