Because we frequent so many museums in the area we try, whenever possible, to get annual memberships. We did not have the Health Museum on our radar for an annual membership because we did not believe we would go visit very often. However, when we saw a Living Social deal for a family membership we jumped on it. We took a jaunt to the John P. McGovern Museum of Health and Medical Science on Wednesday, May 10, 2012 and had a great time. We are very glad we got the membership and will likely use it quite a bit. For those who have not yet gone to it – go visit. You may find yourself walking out with an annual membership also!
In the middle of the exhibit hall are several tables with stations that include multiple brain teasers. This was a big hit with all the kids and we plan on taking a trip back here specifically to work on some of these with our oldest child for math and logic. They were a bit much for the younger two but they still had fun playing with them. Both the two and four year old were able to find brain teasers they could do but for the seven year old there were challenging ones that she could accomplish with some work.
The traveling exhibit currently on display is Cells: The Universe Inside Us. This is an informative and interactive exhibit that is sure to catch the kids’ attention. They learn a lot and it is fun to do so. Even the two year old gained valuable experience with it. We are going to start discussing cells in health and then go back and do this portion again to reinforce.
The permanent exhibits also provide a great opportunity to learn about the various systems in the body and health in general. Amazing Body Pavilion allows you to explore the body fully. You can walk inside a giant mouth and sit on teeth, you can stroll through two sides of the brain, ride a bike with a skeleton, learn about hearing, your organs and bones. A big hit was the sound room where you go in, cover your ears and scream as loud as you can. Those outside can read the noise level.
The newest exhibit, You, gives you a great perspective on how you became you. You can see how you will look as you age or if you were a different race or gender. You can scan your internal organs. You can learn about how people live as it pertains to health around the world.
The Health Museum also has a 4D theater. We attended this on a later visit and found it to be highly educational and entertaining. The movie about cells was very well done and the addition of the 4-D effect was a lot of fun for the kids.
The only suggestion I have for the Health Museum is that there is not enough pre-visit information on their exhibits to get the kids started. We would like to see some printed information on the material presented, links for additional information, a worksheet/quiz that can be done while there or a scavenger hunt of sorts. This way we can better prepare for a visit.
What we really liked was the variety of information presented and how it was interactive. Kids had a great time touching everything and were more attentive than if it was just a series of displays. It was well worth the visit and we plan on going many more times throughout the year. We highly recommend it!
The John P. McGovern Museum of Health and Medical Science is located at 1515 Hermann Drive in the Museum District in Houston. They can be found online at http://www.thehealthmuseum.org for hours, driving directions and exhibit information.