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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Kids of all ages can experience bodily functions in museum exhibit

Burp Man is an interactive machine in the Grossology exhibit. After soda is pumped into the stomach, the man burps loudly.
Photos courtesy Fort Worth Museum of Science and History
Burp Man is an interactive machine in the Grossology exhibit. After soda is pumped into the stomach, the man burps loudly. Photos courtesy Fort Worth Museum of Science and History

By Kelli Henderson/entertainment editor

The grossest and crudest exhibit on the human body has invaded the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History and will not leave until September.

Nigel Nose-It-All tells visitors about mucus, allergies and colds in the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History exhibit.
Photos courtesy Fort Worth Museum of Science and History

Grossology: The (Impolite) Science of the Human Body is based on a children’s book by teacher and microbiologist Sylvia Branzei. In this interactive exhibit, visitors of all ages can learn about the slimy, crusty and stinky things the body produces and why. Though Grossology is directed toward children, there are enough factoids and definitions to wow any brainer.

As visitors walk through, they see a blend of colors and sounds. Characters like Nigel Nose-It-All tell facts about runny noses, mucus and sinuses.

At each station, interactive machines show the process of many bodily functions, like Burp Man, a machine that mimics the buildup of acid indigestion to make him belch loudly.

Each station includes banners and posters defining each function with numerous health, cultural and scientific factoids.

Over 2 million bacteria are living on your chin, cheeks and nose,” one station says. “No matter how hard you scrub your face, you can never get rid of them.”

The exhibit does a great job of disguising science. Overactive children can touch, climb and grab at numerous computer and arcade games without getting yelled at by parents.

Tour du Nose, a replica inside of a human nose, can let visitors excavate and see features like nose hairs and blood vessels.

Because this exhibit is geared toward children, the format may not work as well as parents would like. With so many facts and information to soak in, it might be hard for some children to stand and listen to the definition of projectile vomiting when nearby sits an allergy skeeball game, where balls of “pollen and dust” are shot into a giant nose.

Burp Man is an interactive machine in the Grossology exhibit. After soda is pumped into the stomach, the man burps loudly.
Photos courtesy Fort Worth Museum of Science and History

Though some of the levers and pulleys on the machines are hard to maneuver, the facts are disgustingly interesting. (In some cultures, it is customary for mothers to suck out the mucus from their baby’s noses and spit it on the ground.) And the enlarged models are bizarre (Skin Climbing Wall: Large-scale skin that includes pimples, warts, hair, wounds and moles for kids to climb).

Grossology teaches the science of everything society shuns and lets kids know it is OK ­— that being gross is normal.

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