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H-E-B Body Adventure Not Just An Exhibit, An Interactive Experience With Health

Just in time for summer exploring, there’s a new exhibit at the Witte Museum called the H-E-B Body Adventure powered by University Health System.

Curator of Archeology and Health Bryan Bayles calls it a “brand new, four-story, indoor-outdoor interactive experience that’s all about health IQ, empowerment and wellness.”

While that sounds a bit nerdy and wonkish, the actuality is anything but. During my visit I saw dozens of children going from exhibit to exhibit, interacting as they were supposed to, and very likely, learning all the while.

“We have a whole GI tract, we have  two human hearts that are open, you can see inside,” Bayles said.

The interactive machines let each person apply the lessons programmed into the unit to themselves. Bayles gave me an example of one of the interactive units:

“You step up onto a giant soda cup, and it’s a stair-stepper," he said. "And you choose a drink. You can choose water or a sweet drink. And it says, 'Okay, that’s great. Now let’s see how long it’ll take to work that off, "    

The cumulative effect of all that interactivity makes it real to Witte visitors that every action carries with it a bodily reaction.

“There’s energy in, energy out," Bayles said. "There’s a balance that needs to be struck.”

And the museum’s objective in this endeavor isn’t a small one: they want to change your world. As Bayles noted, they want it to be a more healthy one.

“The Witte Museum is kind of putting a stake in the ground and saying, ‘Hey, we want to be a leader in pioneering in this cultural shift,' ” Bayles said.

The exhibits also show how to grow foods in containers, healthy cooking demonstrations, and even how to relax.

"We’re trying to kind of inspire those ‘a-ha!’ moments,” Bayles said.

Jack Morgan can be reached at jack@tpr.org and on Twitter at @JackMorganii