When I was 12 years old, I watched Honey, I Shrunk the Kids and ever since, I have always wondered what it would feel like to be shrunk and be really small. I could get myself into tiny places and see the inner workings of many stuff... like the Human Body. Well, it turns out that one can do just that at the Science Centre Singapore now.
Okay, maybe not being shrunk. But rather, a larger than life human anatomy that allows one to physically crawl through... beginning from the mouth (and all the way to the anus!).
Dubbed the Human Body Experience (HBX), the 1,000 square-metre exhibit is Science Centre Singapore’s brand new edutainment exhibition and a 3D, interactive trip through the human digestive system to let children experience what it feels like to be swallowed and processed by the body. And that was enough to rock the monkies' socks off!
And no wonder, because the minute we climbed into the mouth via the tongue, we were rewarded with a fun slide down the twisting tunnel of the throat and landed in the larynx where the monkies got to find out how one's vocal chords sound like from the inside.
Moving on the respiratory system, we were greeted with 2 full-blown lungs enclosed in the rib-cage. And since we were supposed to be inside a living person's body, the lungs were expanding and contracting... much to both Ash's and Ayd's fascination.
We then navigated our way through a maze of veins, complete with fluorescent lighting which represents the vessels that circulate blood throughout the body.
The blood vessels led us to the most important organ of our body - the heart.
Here, the thumping of the heart served as the main soundtrack of the chamber while red blood cells came in the form of huge red rubber balls. no prizes for guessing which items ended being tossed around in the chamber then.
After the circulatory system, we passed through the immune system where the kids learnt more about how our bodies' white blood cells and antibodies fight foreign viruses and bacteria to keep us healthy and strong. And then, it was time to experience the power of mind over matter.
We could actually take a walk inside the brain and explore the working areas of the mind which included how our brain controls our nervous system, as well as storing memories. Definitely gives a new meaning to mind-blown.
If we thought that all of the above were fun, we ain't see nothing yet.
The digestive system was where the fun factor notched up even higher as we had to get down all fours to squeeze through the soft chambers of the stomach and intestines!
If your child has been wanting to find out how food is digested after we ingest them, this portion provides the perfect visual and sensory explanations. We had a feel of how squishy and soft the stomach's lining was as we made our way along the wobbly floor (think huge bouncy waterbeds).
And I was not kidding when I say the exhibition was truly sensory. We were greeted with sudden sprays of mist - which simulates the secretion of bile and other digestive enzymes - as we trotted our way through the small intestines. Too cool for words, seriously.
Finally we came to the large intestines, where things got a bit squeezy. This was where water and electrolytes are removed from the leftover digested food to form poop. Yes, that last word tickled the monkies tremendously when they found out they were turning into brown goop as they squeezed through the various chambers of the large intestines.
And just like the final waste product, we were passed out and returned to the real world after one amazing journey into the human body. The monkies enjoyed it so much that they wanted to go for a second time!
If you ask me, it's like as if someone swallowed a theme park.
Amid all the rolling, crawling and squeezing, there are running commentaries and panels of medical and educational information to explain the functions of each of the body's section within the body. So really, it was such a delightful way to learn, and a completely immersive experience at that too.
Some things to take note though: the HBX is recommended for people from age 5 to mature adults with good physical mobility. Children under the age of 5 are still allowed entry, but do note that the exhibit consists of dark areas, dramatic sculptures, loud sounds and confined spaces. Oh, and heels are prohibited too as there are soft beds and air cushions to trample on within the exhibit.
And if you are heading down, you may want to download this fun boardgame-like worksheet before you get swallowed!
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Overall, this is one terrific exhibit that all parents should bring their children to... especially if they have been bugging you on the whys and hows of the fascinating workings of the human body.
After all, how often can one get to crawl into the mouth of a giant face before sliding through the tunnel of the throat, navigating through veins and arteries, squeezing along an oesophagus, bouncing inside the stomach, crawling in the squelching chambers of the vital organs and finally, expelling oneself through the anus?
Human Body Experience (HBX)
Science Centre Singapore, Hall B
15 Science Centre Road, Singapore 609081
Opening Hours: 10am to 6pm daily
Admission Charges: Adult $20 | Child (3-12) $15
*Admission inclusive of entry to Science Centre