STO visited the incredible new museum experience in London, BODY WORLDS, to see what’s on offer for schools.
Stimulating your curiosity about the human body, answering all of your questions about anatomy and physiology, as well as being extremely fun, the new attraction at the London Pavilion is set to be a huge hit with school groups.
There are more than 200 exhibits, spread over six galleries, split into the following sections: Locomotive System, Cardiovascular System, Reproductive System, Nervous System, Digestive System and the Respiratory System.
The museum experience educates about the inner workings of the human body, showing the effects that daily lifestyle choices have on our health.
Set up in the former home of Ripley’s Believe It or Not, BODY WORLDS offers comprehensive education packs to guide pupils and teachers during their visit, catering for Key Stages 3, 4 and 5. All are linked to the National Curriculum.
There’s an emphasis on making things simple for teachers and school groups too; activities are carefully considered as to avoid onerous writing, allowing pupils more time to enjoy the truly awe-inspiring exhibition while still encouraging them to think about and discuss the topics.
Suitable for both Primary and Secondary pupils, visits to BODY WORLDS London can tie in with Science, PSHE and Art studies.
A detailed answer pack, complete with clear curriculum links for easy planning, is also provided so that any subject teacher can assist if support is needed during the visits.
The Ponderer at BODY WORLDS. Photo credit: Jeff Moore.
A few of the highlights at BODY WORLDS London:
• Real bodies: Yes, that’s right. But don’t worry, while quite shocking at times, the exhibition is done so artistically that you almost forget you’re looking at actual bodies. The bodies have all been preserved through the process of plastination and it means you can see the definition of the muscle – absolutely fascinating.
• The laughter area: This was one of my favourites, exploring the effect of laughter on the body – and you guessed it, having a go yourself – however forced. There’s even a relaxing area complete with swings and a harmonic water feature.
• Grey matter: There’s plenty of colour and interaction in the first display area of the museum which is all about the brain. With various exhibits, videos and interactive guides (through your audio set), it takes you on a fascinating journey as you learn more about your brain than you thought possible.
About BODY WORLDS
BODY WORLDS is the work of German doctor Gunther van Hagens, who you may know as the man who performed an autopsy live on Channel 4 in 2002, which was the first public autopsy in 170 years.
He invented the process of plastination (which involves replacing the fat and water in the body with plastic) and said the museum in London was the “culmination” of his work.
Since it began touring back in 1995, BODY WORLDS has attracted over 47 million visitors in more than 130 cities worldwide.
The creators of BODY WORLDS hope that the displays, featuring real anatomical specimens, and interactive exhibits will not only make visitors more health-conscious but will also spark an interest in the science of anatomy and physiology.
Creative director, Dr Angelina Whalley, commented: “BODY WORLDS is a transformative experience that illuminates the miracles of the human body which we take for granted every day. We are thrilled to finally open up a BODY WORLDS Museum in London.”
Booking school visits
All school group visits must be pre-booked, for more information and to book go to www.bodyworlds.co.uk
Main image: Alexandra ‘Binky’ Felstead at the opening of BODY WORLDS. Photo credit: Jason Byne.