04._Homunculus-DFIf you are planning a visit to NY with your family any time between now and August, you won’t want to miss  the newest exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History called, simply, Brain: the Inside Story. The exhibit is an interactive, interesting, informative and beautiful look at the most complex organ in our bodies. 

Why beautiful? Because after first seeing  a preserved human brain—small and unimportant looking—you enter the main part of the exhibit by walking through an art installation by Daniel Canogar that simulates the energetic activity of firing neurons through an ingenious use of light that moves along hanging wires at great speed. The art piece— 1,500 pounds of wire suspended from a frame along a 35-foot walkway—was created from recycled materials that Canogar and assistants collected from dumpsters in New Jersey and Connecticut.

I can’t possibly describe it properly to you – but trust me when I say, it’s breathtaking.

Plus, here are just a few of the interactive aspects of the exhibit your kids will love. (and you will too. It’s sort of amazing!)

  • Neuron Gesture Table: When you put your hands on the neuron gesture table, this high-tech interactive exhibit “turns” your hands into neurons that can interact with other neurons (other people’s hands), mimicking a synapse in action.
  • Shape Tracing: In this one, you have to try to  trace a simple shape while looking in a mirror. Uh – not easy.
  • Language acquisition: Think you have an ear for language? I thought I did too.  But try repeating a phrase in Urdu or Chinese, and you’ll get a visual representation of just how off you were!

 

Overall, it’s a well-thought out (well, it is called Brain) exhibit that’s interactive enough for kids, and detailed enough for adults.  So you should go, it’s a no brainer!