About Wellbody Academy
Over the past few years, Pacific Science Center has been developing an innovative and highly immersive new exhibit, Professor Wellbody's Academy of Health & Wellness. Scheduled to open December 1, 2012, Professor Wellbody's Academy of Health & Wellness brings guests of all ages into the imaginative world of Professor Wellbody, demonstrating how personal choices can positively affect our health and well-being. Building on a history as Washington's portal to Science, the Science Center is aiming to connect the public to more unfolding research and inspiring more children than ever before through improvements to its content and delivery. Seven-thousand square feet of hands-on inventions, gadgets, activities and experiences will present health as a life-long process of balancing exercise, diet, proper rest and hygiene. These tools and resources for managing health and well-being will help guests discover the control each of us has over many aspects of our wellness.
"We face a constant and changing stream of research on do's and don'ts around our health and wellness," said Bryce Seidl, Pacific Science Center president and CEO. "As the region's neutral convener for health education and dialogue, Wellbody's Academy will be the ideal backdrop for the community to come together for discovery and discussion in a friendly setting."
This is the Science Center's first new permanent exhibit in more than a decade. It will address individual and community health and well-being at a time when preventable conditions such as obesity, and chronic diseases like Type II diabetes are on the rise and access to healthcare is a growing concern.
This new exhibit exemplifies how Pacific Science Center is transforming itself for the future--becoming a more vital connection for the public with current scientific research and discoveries. In Professor Wellbody's Academy of Health & Wellness, The Studio will give guests the opportunity to learn about healthcare careers and current health, wellness and life science research taking place in our region. By integrating this kind of rotating and regionally relevant programming into a fun and dynamic environment, the Science Center will bring science to life in new and innovative ways.
"As we approach our 50th anniversary on October 22, 2012, we're already planning for our next half-century of service to this region and beyond," Seidl said. "Our plans will become tangible as we bring new experiences like the groundbreaking new Professor Wellbody's Academy of Health & Wellness exhibit to life."
The development of the exhibit's concept and content is the result of extensive research, planning, and imagination--including significant volunteer input from community leaders and nationally-recognized experts in health care. As part of the process, Pacific Science Center hired Gyroscope Inc. an exhibition design firm based in Oakland, CA to bring the idea of Wellbody Academy to life. The team at Gyroscope Inc. come from science center or interactive museum backgrounds and were the ideal partners to tackle this unusual project.
In February, the Science Center chose a firm out of Alameda, CA named Group Delphi for the fabrication of Professor Wellbody's Academy of Health & Wellness. Group Delphi has roots in theater, and has a sound reputation for understanding all the disciplines required for effective storytelling, communication and production. They have begun fabricating several elements of the exhibit design and will begin prepping the Building for installation on July 23, 2012.
Because the exhibit will help improve life-long health behaviors in our region, it has been enthusiastically embraced by the healthcare community.
Given its long-standing focus on health promotion and improvement, Group Health Cooperative stepped forward to provide the Science Center with a generous planning grant to help develop the exhibit concept.
"Since 1947, Group Health has focused on helping to improve the health of our patients and of the communities we serve," said Group Health President & CEO Scott Armstrong. "Helping the Science Center bring Professor Wellbody's Academy of Health & Wellness to life is a natural extension of our mission to help people in their journey to lead the healthiest, best life possible."
Serving approximately one million guests on site and more than 300,000 students and teachers throughout Washington state each year, Pacific Science Center is the ideal venue for outreach to the broader public about health and wellness.
Since the Science Center opened in 1962, it has been a leader in inquiry- based interactive science education. As an independent not-for-profit educational institution, Pacific Science Center inspires lifelong interest in science, math and technology by engaging diverse communities through interactive and innovative exhibits and programs.
Professor Wellbody's Academy of Health & Wellness appreciates the expertise and contributions from the following individuals:
Wellbody Advisory Committee
Dr. Claudia Finkelstein, MDCM
Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine
University of Washington Long Term Care Services
Dr. David Fleming
Director and Health Officer
Public Health - Seattle & King County
Michelle M. Garrison, PhD
Principal Investigator, Seattle Children's Research Institute
And Acting Assistant Professor of Health Services
University of Washington
Dr. Amanda Jones
Director, Science Education Department
Seattle Children's Research Institute
Dr. Douglas C. Lewis
Past President, Washington Association
of Naturopathic Physicians
Dr. Rob Hohle
Chief of Pediatrics, Group Health Cooperative
Program Supervisor, Health and Fitness Education
Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction
Wellbody Content Specialists
Barbara B. Cochrane, PhD, RN, FAAN
de Tornyay Endowed Professor for Healthy Aging
Director, de Tornyay Center for Healthy Aging
University of Washington School of Nursing
Dr. Ron Inge
Vice President, Dental Director, Washington Dental
Barbara J. Pyper, MS, RD, SNS, FCSI
Washington State Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Michael V. Vitiello, PhD
Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Co-Director, Center for Research in the Management
Of Sleep Disturbance, University of Washington