MOS College Night

By Jessica Bashelor

The Museum of Science opened its doors to thousands of Boston area college students last Monday to enjoy a night of raffles, butterflies and human cadavers.

The museum’s tenth annual College Night was mobbed with students eager to get a look at the highly anticipated “Body Worlds 2” exhibit as well as the Butterfly Garden, IMAX films and other museum sponsored activities.

“The biggest difference [this year] is the Body Worlds exhibit, it’s a once-in-a- lifetime, provocative experience for anyone – especially for young adults,” said Paul Fontaine, the Museum’s vice president of programs.

Gunther von Hagens’ “Body Worlds 2, an Anatomical Exhibition of Real Human Bodies,” has received rave reviews on a global scale, and has fostered equal excitement in the Boston area.

With his pioneering technique called plastination, Hagen has quite possibly changed the study of anatomy, and the way people view the human body forever, according to Body Worlds’ website.

“The exhibit has attracted visitors of all demographics and ages, but the age group that seems to find it the most interesting is the college to middle age adults,” Fontaine said.

Expectations for the turnout at the museum for the college night was high, Fontaine said,but it lived up to the hype, having sold out completely by the end of the night. The popularity of the “Body Worlds 2” exhibit has significantly increased museum attendance.

“The museum’s busiest day ever was on the Sunday of Labor Day weekend where over 16,000 people visited over the course of one day,” he said.

Imanuela Costiner, a junior and a political science and environmental studies major, was hesitant to see the real human bodies in the exhibit.

“I wasn’t going to do it, but I’m glad that I did. It was a compromise [with my friend] that I see the body exhibit, and now it’s my turn – we’re going to the butterfly garden,” Costiner said.

Freshman biology major Eloise Leslie could not get into the sold-out exhibit but planned to return on a later day.

“I really wanted to see the exhibit; I’m very interested in the human form and thought it would be really helpful for my human organism class,” she said.

Others, like Mitch Noah, a freshman undecided major, were disappointed in missing out on von Hagens’ attraction, but were excited about other aspects of College Night.

“I’m happy I made the trip because I won tickets to a Tool concert in one of the College Night raffles,” Noah said.

Those students who made it in to the “Body Worlds 2” exhibit said is was a definite favorite and described is as “shocking” and “educational.”

Students described the mood within the exhibit as awe-inspiring. Many were silent and engaged as they walked past the human cross sections and entire cadavers that lay before them.

“I thought they did a wonderful job. There were a great variety of bodily systems represented, I learned a lot from the exhibit,” said Cate Johnson, junior political science and environmental studies major.

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