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Take a Dramatic Journey Through Your Body, Mind and Spirit in the Groundbreaking Permanent Exhibit—YOU! the Experience

April 8, 2014 Attraction No Comments Email Email

YOU! The Experience, a dramatic and unprecedented 15,000-square-foot exhibit, is a celebration of the body, mind and spirit that explores our personal health and well-being. 

The exhibit showcases the extraordinary workings of our bodies, the choices we make, the environment in which we live, and the role of medical technology. It opened in October 2009 as a permanent experience at the Museum of Science and Industry, in Abbott Hall.

“This exhibit is unique because it is real and personal,” said David Mosena, president and CEO of the Museum of Science and Industry. “It doesn’t just delve into human anatomy and stop there; it speaks to the total human experience — who we are as human beings and how we can empower ourselves to take better care of our minds and bodies.  And it does all of this in a fun, inspiring, cutting-edge and provocative way.”

Whether trying out a few moves in virtual basketball, or playing Mindball, a game in which the more relaxed player wins, guests will see themselves and their health choices in new, fun and provocative ways.  In addition, the exhibit brings together cutting-edge technologies never before seen in a Museum setting, an impressive array of authentic human specimens, and personal stories from real people from around the country. Guests will learn how people overcome physical challenges to stay active, have discovered the keys to longevity, manage a typical day’s diet—and more.

YOU! The Experience features a stunning new interpretation of the Museum’s iconic “heart” that can actually beat in time with a guest’s own heart.  The 13-foot tall Giant Heartcreated using state-of-the-art HD digital imagery, is able to beat in time with a guest’s pulse. Additionally, seamless front and rear digital projection allow guests to explore the exterior, as well as interior, workings of this fascinating organ.

In addition, the Museum is first museum in the world to have a Human Patient Simulator, nicknamed iStan® (for “Standard Man”). This computer-controlled, full-sized mannequin is used to train today’s medical students— but in the facilitated experience MSI Hospital guests are able to diagnose and treat highly-realistic medical conditions using this amazing technology.

Other examples of the more than 50 interactive stations within the 15,000-square-foot exhibit include:

  • Get in the Action—A virtual coach helps you learn some hip-hop dance, basketball or tai chi moves.  See your silhouette on a giant screen as you join in the fun; follow your own movements in real time as your silhouette leaves spectacular color trails on the screen.
  • Seeing with Sound—With eyes closed, use echolocation to try to distinguish among different materials using only the sounds that bounce back to you. The exhibit also highlights the story of blind bicyclists who use this technique to navigate their surroundings while riding over rough terrain.
  • Hamster Wheel—The human-sized “hamster wheel” will get you moving and provide real-time feedback on your body’s responses to aerobic activity.
  • Vein Viewer —See the blood pulsing through your veins via an infrared camera.
  • Interactive Prosthetic Arm—An authentic prosthetic hand and arm will amaze you as you control the device with your own hand and arm. The prosthetic works via electrodes that detect the nerve signals that control muscle movement.

YOU! The Experience also marks the return of the Museum’s historic prenatal exhibit, which illustrates the wonders of human development, and has been reinterpreted in a new gallery. Original media presentations depict the development of the fetus in the womb, as well as how the mother’s body adapts with pregnancy. Nearly 30 other authentic human specimens and body slices, located throughout the exhibit space, highlight the extraordinary nature of the human body’s interconnected parts and systems. Included in these are 18 plastinated specimens—real human specimens from the creators of the blockbuster exhibit BODY WORLDS—as well as the Museum’s historical collection of Anatomical Slices.

Funded by the Museum’s Science Rediscovered capital campaign, the exhibit and related programs offer informal and formal learning consistent with the Illinois Learning Standards and the National Science Education Standards, and provided by the Museum’s Center for the Advancement of Science Education.  Whether you’re a guest making the Giant Heart come alive with your pulse, a student exploring medical careers and technologies in the ER/OR Learning Lab, or a teacher trying a classroom lesson about digestion in a professional development workshop, everything you do in YOU! The Experience is designed to educate in coordination with current learning goals.

You! The Experience is made possible through the generosity of Abbott; the Abbott Fund, the philanthropic foundation of Abbott; and the Pritzker Foundation. Additional major funding provided by J. Ira and Nicki Harris Family, Mazza Foundation, and Robert S. and Susan E. Morrison.

YOU! The Experience is included in Museum Entry.  The exhibit is permanently housed in Abbott Hall on the Museum’s North Balcony.  For additional information, visit

The Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago (MSI), one of the largest science centers in the world, offers world-class and uniquely interactive science experiences that inspire inventive genius and foster curiosity. Through groundbreaking and award-winning exhibits that can’t be found anywhere else, to Live Science Experiences that make you the scientist—a visit to MSI is where fun and learning mix. Through its Center for the Advancement of Science Education (CASE), MSI offers a variety of student, teacher and family programs that make a difference in communities and contribute to the Museum’s larger vision: to inspire and motivate children to achieve their full potential in science, technology, medicine and engineering. Come visit and find your inspiration! MSI is open 9:30–4 p.m. every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas day. Extended hours, until  5:30 p.m., are offered during peak periods. The Museum is supported in part through the generosity of the people of Chicago through the Chicago Park District. For more information, find MSI online at or call (773) 684-1414 or (800) GO-TO-MSI outside of the Chicago area.

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