Bodylink: A Health Sciences Update Center

  • Abstract

    The Maryland Science Center in cooperation with the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions (JHMI) and the University of Maryland Baltimore developed and produced BodyLink a unique health sciences update center. The group did so with support from the National Institutes of Health SEPA (Science Education Partnership Award) Program BodyLink which is modeled after the Maryland Science Center’s praised SpaceLink space science update center will make today’s medical and health news clear and relevant for visitors young and old. Science and technology centers have long struggled with ways to acquaint visitors with the latest and greatest discoveries in health and biomedical science and to interpret the significance of these findings for all ages. Museums can no longer be content with presenting only basic science and need to expand their role as public communicators of science by presenting cutting-edge research and by interpreting and explaining this information for visitors. BodyLink is a 1500-square foot multimedia center where visitors can discover and appreciate the wonders of cutting-edge medical research (basic research as well as clinical research) through interactive exhibits stunning imagery and facilitated demonstrations in a multimedia driven programmable space. BodyLink also includes WetLab an open-access microbiology laboratory facility that allows visitors to conduct scientific investigations using state-of-the art research technology. Visitors can extract DNA from wheat germ test common anti-microbial products on live bacteria and learn Gram staining techniques among other activities. Bodying will further serve school groups general museum visitors and remote-learning participants through the interactive website. BodyLink also incorporates an internship program for graduate students from the Maryland Science Center’s collaborating universities. These internships give the graduate students an opportunity to interact with the general public to enhance their scientific communication skills and give them first-hand experience with investigating public understanding of scientific research.