Press Contact: Trish Palao, Marketing and Communications Manager
Montshire Museum of Science, One Montshire Road, Norwich, VT 05055 

802-649-2200 x222 | trish.palao@montshire.org

Montshire Museum of Science to host Human Plus: Real Lives + Real Engineering

Jan 11, 2016
For Immediate Release

What do you get when cutting-edge science and engineering join forces to assist the human body? Endless possibilities for improving day-to-day lives and realizing lifelong dreams! Explore Human Plus: Real Lives + Real Engineering at the Montshire Museum of Science in Norwich, Vt., beginning January 30.

The exhibition offers visitors of all ages the chance to explore engineering concepts and to create a range of low- and high-tech tools that extend the potential of the human body. Funded by the National Science Foundation, Human Plus showcases compelling stories from a unique field of engineering that uses science, technology, and creativity to overcome limitations and unlock every person’s potential.

"It is no longer a conversation about overcoming deficiency,” said Aimee Mullins, a Paralympic champion, actor, model, inspirational speaker, and double amputee. “It’s a conversation about potential.”

“We’re excited to be hosting the New England debut of Human Plus: Real Lives + Real Engineering at the Montshire,” said Bob Raiselis, the Montshire’s Exhibits Director. “Engineering is all about meeting challenges and solving problems, and this exhibition allows our museum visitors to learn about and to be part of the creative engineering involved in the important work of extending the capabilities of the human body.”

Every Body Plays
Throughout the exhibit, Montshire visitors will be able get their hands on a broad range of actual ability-enhancing tools. Exhibits include: a neuroprosthetic limb that can be controlled by a person’s thoughts; a virtual downhill mono-ski course; a DJ music remix station built out of a wheelchair and controlled by the wheels; a touch panel that translates songs into vibrations so visitors can feel the music; and a hands-free computer mouse, controlled through head movements, that allows a visitor to the exhibition to type messages and edit photos. Visitors can even redesign themselves in a full-body simulation and test body-enhancement technologies that supersize their strength, showcasing the new horizon of engineering that was once the stuff of science fiction.

Ask, Imagine, Create
The engineering process always begins by asking the user what they want to achieve. The exhibition poses design challenges from real-life users, such as: Can you make a tool to help someone in a wheelchair feed a pet? Or a tool that overcomes visual impairments and locates hard-to-detect obstacles? How can you design a canoe and paddles for people without arms? After viewing some of the amazing technology developed by today’s engineers, visitors will be able to put their own creativity  to the test as they build and try out their own inventions.

Compelling Stories and Videos
From busy moms and engineers, to adventurers and dance performers: people who use these new technologies—as well as the innovators themselves—share their stories through videos as well as the real-life tools they use every day. Whether they are about caring for three children or about reaching the summit of Mt. Everest, these stories captivate audiences.

Human Plus opens January 30 and runs through May 8, 2016.

Accompanying the Human Plus exhibition, Montshire Museum of Science will host four evening programs, "+TALKS," that will examine the complexities of the human body and how we can support it through engineering and community wellbeing.

The Exhibition was created by the New York Hall of Science in partnership with the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry and the Quality of Life Technology Center with funding from the National Science Foundation.

Human Plus is sponsored locally by Lake Sunapee Bank, and media sponsorship is provided by WCAX-TV.

Press photos available

About Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI)
Founded in 1944, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) is one of the nation’s leading science museums, a world-class tourist attraction, and an award-winning educational resource for the kid in each of us. OMSI is located at 1945 SE Water Ave., Portland, OR 97214. For general information, call 503.797.4000 or visit http://www.omsi.edu.

About New York Hall of Science (NYSCI)
Built initially as a pavilion for the 1964 World's Fair, the New York Hall of Science is now New York City's hands-on science and technology center. Since 1986, NYSCI has served over seven million children, parents and teachers. NYSCI's mission is to convey the excitement and understanding of science and technology to children, families, teachers and others by galvanizing their curiosity and offering them creative, participatory ways to learn. NYSCI features the largest collection of hands-on science exhibits in New York City. Visitors of all ages can explore over 450 interactive exhibits.

About Quality of Life Technology Center
Run by Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh; The Quality of Life Technology (QoLT) Center is a National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center focused on the development of intelligent systems that improve quality of life for everyone while enabling older adults and people with disabilities. The QoLT Center addresses the needs and activities of everyday living by prototyping personal and assistive robots, cognitive and behavioral virtual coaches, safe mobility and driver assistance technologies, and human health and wellness monitoring, awareness and assistance solutions for home or community. QoLT Research emphasizes human-system interaction with attention to social, clinical and policy factors for consumer deployment and user adoption. In addition to R&D, the Center offers educational programs, commercialization initiatives and unique partnership opportunities.