Every week we write about nutrition mainly and health promotion in general, about the great importance of nutrition for the proper functioning of the body and the great contribution in the prevention of diseases. “Make your food your medicine and not your medicine your food,” Maimonides, Rabbi Moshe Ben Maimon, the greatest of the arbitrators, one of the most important philosophers, a scientist and a physician, demanded about 800 years ago. Some say that the source of the recommendation dates back to BC and was coined by Hippocrates and not necessarily Maimonides. Either way, there is no doubt that this recommendation is as valid today as in the past, and perhaps even more so.
The consequences of diet on the body can not always be seen. For example, the good contribution of vegetables and fruits to the immune system, or the benefits of quality unsaturated fat over saturated fat for maintaining blood vessels. For this reason it is sometimes difficult to adopt dietary recommendations, and it joins other reasons like the huge selection of processed, available, flavorful and appetizing food, but not always healthy.
What the body looks like from the inside
Knowledge is power, so we believe. And the way to respect and care for the body begins with getting to know it. There are many ways to get to know the body and learn about the systems that operate in it. Books, illustrations, photographs, films and videos. Many try to illustrate what the human body systems look like from the inside and how they function, some with great success and some less so. The great freedom is a great opportunity to visit with the children the various science museums scattered throughout the country. They were joined earlier this month by the Israeli Museum of Medicine and Science in Technoda in Hadera.
A visit to the new museum is a great way to learn, understand and admire the wonders of the body, especially when the path activates almost all the senses: sight, hearing, touch and smell. The museum combines science, medicine and technology, and visitors get to learn about the anatomy and physiology of the body, understand the causes of diseases like viruses (did we say corona?), Bacteria or smoking and get to know a variety of treatments from rest and nutrition to medication and surgery.
Visitors are given the opportunity to get to know the body from an unfamiliar angle – from the side of the medical staff. It is possible to perform medical procedures such as resuscitation, ultrasound or CT imaging, catheterization and more.
The target audience to which the contents of the museum are directed are children and youth. On our visit, the adults learned and enjoyed (and in reverse order) at least as much as the children. Thanks to advanced and interactive visual means that excite the grandchildren just as much as the grandparents who accompany them.
Many parents miss the opportunity to spend time in a museum, because there are smaller siblings in the house who require an escort. In most science museums, such as those in Jerusalem, Haifa, Beer Sheva, Rehovot and Bar.Ilan University, even the little ones can enjoy spending time in the museum, even if they do not understand. In general, exposure to this type of family recreation is welcome.
The new museum covers 1,200 square meters and includes about 120 exhibits that were planned by Technoda Hadera and about NIS 30 million was invested in its construction.
The visit to the museum is divided into two routes, each of which includes three exhibitions. The first track includes topics such as genetics, viruses, bacteria and the “Did you know?” Complex, which manages to surprise visitors with facts related to the sense of sight, the sense of hearing, the sense of smell, the palm – the sweat pores in the palm and the hairs on the back, fingers and more.
The virus and bacteria show was probably less attractive to children and youth when it was planned about five years ago, but the covid.19 virus, the corona, fascinates young visitors. The exhibition helps them understand the activity of the virus whose name is so familiar to them and which has become the reality of our lives. The significance of the mutations in the virus, the effect of wearing a mask on stopping its spread and other questions that have arisen in the wake of the past year – receive a detailed and clear answer.
The second pathway includes the three vital body systems: the heart, lungs and brain. You can go into a huge heart and watch a video explaining its activities. Another exhibit allows visitors to fill and empty the lungs and watch diaphragm activity. The layers that protect the brain and its parts are also displayed in interactive exhibits that encourage touching, pressing, rotating and thus understand relatively easily the body organs, their function and mode of action. Alongside all the installations are short and clear explanations in Hebrew and Arabic.
It is recommended to split the tour of the museum into two visits at different times, one route per visit. The track is accompanied by instructors with professional knowledge and a passion for teaching and enriching their guests, mediating the information to visitors, arousing their curiosity with guiding questions and great patience. (And thanks to Nati, who guided us and excited the group visitors of all ages).
And there is also a contribution to the community
Technoda Hadera is a scientific center where children, teenagers and adults participate in research activities in science and technology. In addition to the new Museum of Medicine and Science, it also includes other complexes that make it possible to illustrate the worlds of science, including an observatory, a planetarium, a medical simulation unit and an outdoor science park. The park has huge exhibits that illustrate scientific and technological phenomena, laboratories of physics, chemistry and biology.
Technoda has set a goal, the main purpose of which is to bridge social gaps in Israeli society by exposing the youth who belong to the distressed population to science and technology. The center is a “warm home” for hundreds of these children and teenagers, where they receive a hot meal after the school day, help with studies and scientific activities until the evening.
We are pleased to find that all proceeds from the Technoda visitors are devoted to providing science education to children.