Science on a ship – the MS Wissenschaft on tour

The MS Wissenschaft is a container ship that has been converted into a floating exhibition.  Each year the ship tours the main rivers of Germany, stopping at towns along the route, and this weekend it was Frankfurt’s turn to play host to the 2011 exhibition called “Neue Wege in der Medizin” (new paths in medicine) during the Main leg of the tour.

The MS Wissenschaft moored in Frankfurt am Main

The MS Wissenschaft moored in Frankfurt am Main

The exhibition, which is aimed at both children aged 12 and over, and at adults is split into different sections which first explain how the body works before looking at new ideas both in traditional medicine but also in what might be called “personal lifestyle”.

Much of the “how it works” part of the exhibition uses interactive displays and even games to show how individual organs function.  There are also some simple “simulators” that allow the visitors to get an understanding for problems that older people have, such has undoing a button with reduced dexterity.

A bacteria model

A bacteria model

Advances in the area of traditional medicine include a miniature wireless camera inside a capsule that the patient swallows.  The capsule can either be left to take its course through the body with the result being recorded on a pack worn by the patient, or the doctor can control the direction of the camera using a magnetic field.

The camera capsule

The camera capsule

The “personal lifestyle” area shows how non-medical items can help to keep us active, either while young or when we get older.  One example is the game “memory”, where you have to find matching pairs of cards by turning them over.  A more high-tech example was a Nintendo Wii being used for games that involve moving the whole body and in some cases fast thinking as well, such as adding up numbers and moving to “hit” the answer.

Inside the floating exhibition

Inside the floating exhibition

Depending on how long you take on each activity, it takes about an hour and a half to see and try out everything.

The exhibition runs until 29th September and the schedule can be found on the website.  Entry is free.

About Graham

Graham Tappenden is a British ex-pat who first came to Germany as a placement student in 1993, returning in 1995 to live there permanently. He has been writing for AllThingsGerman.net since 2006. When not writing blog posts or freelancing for the Oberurseler Woche and other publications he works as a self-employed IT consultant solving computer problems and designing websites. In 2016 he gained German citizenship.

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