The Body – Inside Out!

May 30, 2018 at 4:51 PM

A large group of Year 8 students from the Boys’ School were fortunate to extend their Sports Science studies with a biology science trip to the Body Vitals exhibition currently on display in Auckland.


This unique exhibition has toured the world, at times causing controversy about the nature of the display. Intended to the inform the visitor about anatomy, physiology and health, it uses real human bodies that have been preserved through a technique called Plastination, invented by physician and anatomist Dr Gunther von Hagens while working at the University of Heidelberg. Since opening in Japan in 1995, more than 45 million visitors in over 121 cities across the world have seen the display.  Our boys have now upped that total and came away in awe of what they had seen and learnt!

The exhibition presents a special collection of specimens designed to show visitors the basics of human health and wellness. It includes whole-body ‘plastinates,’ a large arrangement of individual organs, arterial and organ configurations and translucent slices that gave a complete picture of how the body works.  

Starting with a view of the skeletal structure of a human, the boys were able to see first-hand the joints they have been studying in Sports Science. The exhibit then took the boys to a section on the brain and nervous system, where they could view the nerves of a corpse that had been preserved, detailing their extensive network throughout the body. 

There was plenty to see with sections on the respiratory, circulatory and digestive system. Coming with some prior knowledge about these systems from their own studies at school definitely helped to pique their interest. The boys had the rare opportunity to compare the dramatic differences between healthy and unhealthy organs, which gave them real food for thought. The exhibition graphically depicted how best to fight life-threatening diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart ailments, through healthy choices and lifestyle changes

Learning about the body from inside a classroom certainly does not have the same impact as an exhibition as detailed as this. The boys thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Whilst it was slightly ‘unusual,’ it gave them detailed insight only usually afforded to medical students and professionals.

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