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"That's Gross!" And So Much More!

MCFTA Exhibit is Fun and Learning Experience

February 21, 2008       Leave a Comment
By: Kevin Leahy

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"Grossology," the most recently opened exhibit at The Midland Center for the Arts offers something for everyone.

Nigel Nose-it-All welcomes visitors to the "grossology" Exhibit.
(MyBayCity Photo by Kevin Leahy)

Well maybe not everyone, but one of the five exhibits on display will surely provide you many of those, "gee I didn't know that," moments.

By far the most popular for the kid's is the "gross," one that subtly educates those who venture up the escalator there on the many functions of the human body...err the least of those mentioned in normal conversations.

The culmination of the educational exhibit tests your knowledge with a three way game show.
(MyBayCity Photo by Kevin Leahy)

Where do boogers come from? And what gives them their color? These and many other answers to the body's inexplicable noises and odors can be found in an amusing way at the Grossology exhibit.

Grossology the exhibit stems from the Grossology series of books written by Sylvia Branzei and was produced by Advanced Animations of Birmingham.

Grossology as defined by the author is the impolite science of the human body and includes many hands-on interactive and animatronic displays and games.

The exhibit begins with nine foot tall Nigel Nose-It-All, an animatronic who talks, moves and sneezes.

Once in the exhibit you can Tour du Nose by walking through a giant nose and learn what a sneeze feels like from a wholly new perspective.

Tour du Nose gives knew meaning to term Ha-Choo!
(MyBayCity Photo by Kevin Leahy)

Then there's the Burp man, the climbing wall of skin and the GI slide which as their titles suggest invokes you to participate in the science of digestion, skin rejuvenation and the odoriferous production of the human body.

The knowledge behind our amazing skin
(MyBayCity Photo by Kevin Leahy)

The Grossology exhibit will be on display until April 27. Price of admission is $8.00 adults and $5.00 for children and free for museum members.

The fun part of the skin portion, climbing the wall of skin.
(MyBayCity Photo by Kevin Leahy)

If blisters, belches and body odor is not your cup of tea, the center has a permanent Hall of Ideas exhibit that is both engaging and interactive.

As Alden B. Dow described it, "it is a source of ideas to stimulate all ages to create and appreciate the facts and feelings of life."

The three successive levels are intended to describe the evolution of the area by interactively describing the earth's development from level one with glaciers to greening with a huge mastodon on display that roamed these parts thousands of years ago.

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Mastodon that used to roam this very area
(MyBayCity Photo by Kevin Leahy)

Then level two describes the trailblazers who first inhabited our Midwest to the lumberjacks who exploited its rich resources to the farmers who capitalized on what the lumberjacks removed to the miners and chemists who tapped into our areas rich resources under the ground.

The lumberjacks worked hard in Michigan producing lumber for most of the country
(MyBayCity Photo by Kevin Leahy)

You can step into a three dimensional old mining cave, prime the T-N-T Box and BLOW a hole deeper into the earth just around the next bend in the cave, while learning.

Level three puts it all into perspective of the individual, actually the imagination of the individual and how the collaboration of ideas can be transformed into literally anything and everything you have ever experienced.

The periodic table with samples shows what were made of, and everything else in life.
(MyBayCity Photo by Kevin Leahy)

Look, listen, build and envision is the theme of level three but the entire exhibition space is an ode to Alden B. Dow and his eight philosophies of the cycle of life. One of the rotations in the cycle is "evaluate and appreciate," just as another is "fact and feelings."

The utilitarian science of a tea pot is to dispense liquids, the feeling is the art behind the millions of different shapes, sizes, colors, materials tea pots are made of.

Just as no two snowflakes are exactly alike, Individualism is paramount in the cycle as it provides the uniqueness contribution.

To experience these exhibits is a lesson in imagination and appreciation ultimately to reach the "finer standard," in the cycle in order to always be progressing towards a higher quality in all areas as a never ending process.

Master works of art are on display to help stimulate creativity
(MyBayCity Photo by Kevin Leahy)

The philosophies of A.B. Dow may be too Zen like for some but these exhibits are thought provoking and fun at the same time.

If information overload has never been your problem, also on display until March 30th is the Age of Armor from the Higgins Armory Museum.

Beautiful Armor Suits are on display in the Hall of idea's
(MyBayCity Photo by Kevin Leahy)

Amazing craftsmanship is displayed from the Trojan War, Middle Age's and the Renaissance.

By upgrading your admission ticket you also can view the Timeless Warriors and Relics exhibit that will be on display until April 13.

1500 years of ancient China is a show of approximately 50 relics, ceramics and two life size Terracotta Warriors from (246-210 BC).

If you plan on going, give yourself at least two hours to enjoy all these exhibits at your own pace, probably longer if your intrigued by any subject presented.

You will be intrigued if you go.

Check their website for hours and tickets or call ahead at 989-631-8250 or 800-523-7649.

Do you remember playing this game as a kid, well a life sized version awaits you at the exhibit
(MyBayCity Photo by Kevin Leahy)

A really "gross" educational experience awaits you as you enter the mouth.
(MyBayCity Photo by Kevin Leahy)

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