There are so many museums here in the valley! We've been to several so far, but I made a second trip to the Arizona Science Center ( www.azscience.org) in downtown Phoenix's Heritage Square Park recently to see an extraordinary exhibit. Body Worlds 3 is an exhibit of human anatomy, featuring real bodies preserved through a method called plastination. Gunther von Hagens, from Heidelberg, Germany, invented the process in the 1970s.
The exhibit traces the history of the study of anatomy, and features bodies posed in different activities, including a javelin thrower, a skateboarder, and a gymnast. We see real anatomical features, not models, in the midst of their functions. The plastination allows posing, disection, and slicing without destruction. We get to how things work, alone and in relation to the rest of the body. We spent two hours in the exhibit, fascinated.
This exhibit has traveled to New York City and Southern California in addition to other places. It's been a tremendous success, and the original run in Phoenix was extended. It now will be open through the Memorial Day weekend. It's recommended that you reserve your timed tickets in advance. We did so online the week before we went, and were glad we did. For the day we wanted to go, there were only a few tickets left. We chose an early time, and managed to see most of the exhibit before the groups of students (older, mostly well-behaved) arrived. It's a little pricey - $22 plus a $2 service fee for the advanced ticket - but well worth it! We parked in the garage next to Heritage Square Park, in spite of the posted $8 fee. Our validated parking ticket made the real cost only $2.
Take a look at the Body World web page, www.bodyworlds.com , to get an idea of what you'll be in for. We recommend it!