SAN ANTONIO – Ever wonder how the heart works as a hydraulic pump or how the levers in your body allow you to lift a book or dumbbell?
A new experience is making its debut this weekend in San Antonio, allowing people of all ages to get lost in science.
The Witte Museum is celebrating its first traveling exhibit of the new year and it takes a closer look at the nuts and bolts of the natural world. It’s called “The Machine Inside: Biomechanics” and it traveled from Chicago’s Field Museum.
“It’s showing all about biomechanics, which is the science of how plant and animal bodies move, function and withstand stresses,” Sarah Rowley, STEM education manager for the museum said.
Pumps, motors, thick jaws and much more allow visitors to learn about how every machine in human bodies, plants and even animals have a function.
“For example, how calcium is really strong against compression, or how collagen in our bones gives them a little bit of bend so they don’t break on every impact,” Rowley said. “There’s also a really cool bit about levers and linkages in the jaw, which is cool because that’s going to affect the force of an animal’s bite.”
Keep an eye out for the array of domes at the entrance of the exhibit. The domes in beetles, snails, turtles and more serve as protection from predators. There are some displays, like the spider legs, that may make you cringe.
So, why is it important to understand the physics and chemistry of how bodies and machines work?
“We can make better use of it, and we can then also make use of that in our daily lives,” Rowley said. “Som understanding how levers work is really useful when you’re trying to even just change a tire, but it’s also really inspiring to come in this exhibit and see all the work scientists are doing and different career opportunities.”
The exhibit also provides interactive opportunities including, flapping wings to try out different styles of flight and pumping blood from the heart of a giraffe to its brain to learn the amount of force needed to do so.
All the information presented in The Machine Inside: Biomechanics is presented in both English and Spanish, allowing for more visitors to learn about science.
Staff will help enforce the use of facial masks and social distancing throughout the exhibit and museum.
The exhibit opens Saturday, Jan. 30 at 10 a.m. and is available to view until April 18.
For prices and to purchase tickets, click here.