We can see because light is processed by our eye and then interpreted by our brain. Light passes through the clear surface of the eye called the cornea. It then passes through the black center of the eye called the pupil, which is actually an opening to the interior of the eye. The pupil can get larger or smaller to regulate the amount of light coming into the eye. The iris, or the colored part of your eye, is the muscle that controls pupil size. The interior of the eye is filled with a gel-like material. A clear flexible lens focuses light to the back of the eye (the retina), where it is converted into nerve impulses sent to the brain to be interpreted.

Touch is the sense that allows us to feel what is happening in our environment. The sense of touch is spread through the whole body. This is due to nerve endings in the skin and other parts of the body that send information to the brain. There are four types of sensation that can be felt: cold, heat, contact, and pain. Hair on the skin can increase touch awareness and act as an early warning system. Have you ever “felt” something hot before you even touched it?

The human skeleton gives the body structure, shape, movement, and support. The body has 206 bones, each composed of several osseous layers. The periosteum is the thin, hard, outer membrane made of nerves and blood vessels that nourish the bone. Below the periosteum is the compact bone layer. It’s the smooth, hard part you see when you view Charlie Bones’s skeleton. Several layers of cancellous bone are located with the compact bone. This layer may look spongy, but is still made of very strong bone. Its job, in many bones, is to protect the bone marrow, a thick jelly-like material that makes blood cells.

Our nose is the organ we use to detect smell. It has two holes called nostrils, divided by a wall called the septum. The tip of the nose is made of cartilage. A mucous membrane lining the inside of the nose contains smell receptors connected to special olfactory nerves. These nerves react with molecules found in the fumes of smells and send messages to the brain. Our sense of smell can detect ten basic types of scents. These are fragrant, woody, fruity, sharp/pungent, chemical, minty, sweet, popcorn, sickening, and lemon. Our smell also helps us to taste foods. In addition to helping us smell things around us, our nose cleans and warms the air we breathe.

Dental health is important for many reasons and a great smile is just one of them. The mouth can harbor infection that seeds bacteria to the heart, lungs and kidneys of adults. This can play a part in health complications such as stroke and heart disease. Also, in order to enjoy eating and talking, natural teeth are far superior to dentures. Your bite force with your natural teeth is somewhere around 200-250 pounds of force. With dentures your bite force is about 50 pounds. So keep smiling with your natural teeth.

Sound waves are music to our ears. Vibrations of molecules, also known as sound waves, are what our inner ear senses and our brain computes as sound. With the help of liquid, tiny hairs and small bones, these ear parts all work together to harness the power of the vibrations and send messages to your brain. Your brain then does the hard work of making sense of the sounds; the faster the vibration, the higher the sound. The ear is not just an organ that helps us hear, but also makes it possible for humans to walk and keep our balance. Earwax is another of our body’s mundane, under-appreciated yet totally amazing protective devices. Earwax shields our body from outside invaders including dust and bacteria. Earwax normally comes out of your ear naturally so it is not a good idea to remove it.

Invented in 1927 by Harvard medical researchers Dr. Philip Drinker and Dr. Louis Shaw, the first functional electric “Iron Lung” worked by varying air pressure inside the chamber to force air in and out of the lungs. The iron lung was used primarily during the Polio Epidemic of the 1940’s. Polio, a virus now eradicated in the US, can cause (in it’s most severe form) paralysis, difficulty breathing, and even death.

Our sense of taste starts with our tongue. The tongue is made up of a group of muscles that allow us to taste food, swallow and talk. The bumps on your tongue are called papillae (puh-PILL-ee). Taste buds contain the taste receptors and they are located around the papillae. The taste buds have tiny hair receptors that tell our brain if something is sweet, salty, sour, bitter or umami (savory). The brain also gets help from our nose and its olfactory receptors. When you eat, the food releases chemicals that immediately travel up into your nose. These chemicals trigger the olfactory receptors and work together with your taste buds to create the true flavors of the foods you love.

As the mastermind of the human body, this 3-pound structure is the most complex organ in the human body. The brain and spinal cord make up the central nervous system. It is estimated that the brain contains over 100 billion nerve cells. Interpreting information from our senses, controlling body movements, and managing the release of hormones, are only a few of the brain’s responsibilities. Scientists are still working to unlock the numerous mysteries of the human brain!

Cells are the basic building blocks of life. The human body contains trillions of cells that take in nutrients, convert those nutrients into energy, and perform specialized functions within the body. Cells also contain genetic material. Each cell is made of many parts, each having different functions within the cell. Take a look at some of the structures within the cell here at the cell exhibit!

Lungs are one of the most active and important parts of the body and oxygen is the most vital component humans need to live. Every cell in the human body requires oxygen, and although it seems like an autonomous function, deep-breathing exercises can greatly improve ones health. Deep, rhythmic breathing allows for more oxygenation of the cells within the body, helps all the body’s systems perform better and provides you with more energy.

Welcome to Aunt LC’s Market! Take time to explore the nutrition fact labels on a variety of foods. Compare the amount of sugar and fat found in processed foods to that found in whole foods. Use the bar code scanner to find additional nutritional information. Did this market make you rethink your choices? Did any of the information you discovered surprise you?

We hope you ♥ our Heart exhibit as much as we do! This larger than life, seven foot tall heart model is made of EPS foam. A healthy adult heart pumps nearly 2,000 liters of blood through 60,000 miles of blood vessels every day! That blood is primarily made in the bone marrow of the vertebrae, pelvis, ribs, and skull. Over the course of your lifetime, your heart will work harder than any other muscle in your body.

Your body’s immune system is a highly strategic fighting system.  It is able to detect and fight against viruses, bacteria, parasites, and other pathogens that can harm the body.  It is made up of a complex network of tissues, cells, and organs.  White blood cells such as lymphocytes (cells that recognize invaders) and phagocytes (cells that kill invading germs) work together to keep the body healthy.  Did you know that laughter can play a big role in boosting your immune system?  Laughing releases chemicals in the brain that make you feel better and relieve stress.

What type of pathogen is tetanus?

Which cells are like mobile vacuum cleaners, finding and fixing the body where germs or dirt have collected?

Which side of the heart contains deoxygenated blood?

How many chambers are there in the human heart?

How many grams of fat does a serving of nachos (cheese and chips) contain?

How many teaspoons of processed sugar are found in a "small" piece of applie pie?

The tiny hairs in your nose that keep mucous and dirt out of your lungs are called what?

The respiratory system is made up of the diaphragm, lungs and _____

Which powerhouse organelles transform food materials into energy?

What is the fluid inside the cell called?

Where does one's judgment and problem solving take place?

Where is the brain's visual processing system located?

New taste buds are replaced approximately every ______ days.

About how many taste buds are in your mouth?

How could the nurse control how many breaths per minute the Iron Lung helped the patient breathe?

What is another name for an Iron Lung?

Your middle ear contains how many of the smallest bones in your body?

The snail shaped, fluid filled organ in your ear is called the:

What part of the tooth anchors the root to the jawbone?

When you smile, what is the part of the tooth you can see which is not covered by gum?

Why does the nose contain hairs called cilia?

If dust or pollen irritates the mucous membrane, a person might:

How many bones make up the human vertebral column?

What is the proper term for the jaw bone?

Why do we shiver and get "goose" bumps?

Which parts of the body have the most touch receptors?

What are the names of the light sensitive cells in the retina?

How many pairs of muscles are required to move each eyeball?