Exhibit Space Grows at Houston Health Museum

For the first time since it opened ten years ago, Houston's Health Museum has undergone a significant expansion, with a renovated and enlarged exhibit space set to open this weekend. Houston Public Radio's Jack Williams reports.

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Workers are still putting the finishing touches on the expanded, 6,000 square foot Sue Trammell Whitfield Gallery, which spills into the lobby at the John P. McGovern Museum of Health and Medical Science in Houston's Museum District.

"You'll notice that the entrance is very wide and expansive and that's intentional so that we can actually bring some of the larger exhibits out into the lobby and to help people interact with the exhibit when they come in."

Health Museum President and CEO Tadd Pullin says the new space doubles the exhibit size of the museum's first floor and will attract traveling exhibits that before now would not have fit into the old space.

"It's a deliberate strategy by the museum to really offer the Houston community exhibits that otherwise wouldn't make it to Houston. That's why this exhibit gallery is so important and we're very excited to have this opportunity. It's been underwritten by the Fondren Foundation here in Houston. Through their generous support we're able to bring this new gallery to the Houston community."

"Everything you do and everything you are comes from your brain and everything your brain does comes from electrical signals and chemical connections."

The first traveling exhibit in the Health Museum's new space, Brain: The World Inside Your Head, opens this Saturday. The exhibit debuted at the Smithsonian and will be in Houston through May 6th.

"If you can imagine just the miracle of being able to think about how we think, that's the mystery and the miracle of the brain and how lucky we are to plumb that and this exhibit takes advantage of that very prospect and takes you through all the different aspects of the brain and how it works and how it doesn't work."

The exhibit's hands-on, interactive displays include preserved animal and human brain samples and a recreation of the skull of a man whose brain was pierced by a metal rod. The man lived, but his personality changed. Pullin says the new exhibit space is booked through 2008. You can find more information about the Brain exhibit through a link on our website, KUHF.org.

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