Professor Wellbody's Academy of Health & Wellness Opens to the Public

Contact: Katelyn Del Buco
Pacific Science Center
200 Second Ave. North
Seattle, WA 98109
(206) 269-5728
kdelbuco@pacsci.org

Pacific Science Center’s new permanent exhibit helps guests on their life-long journey to better health

SEATTLE, WA— November 29, 2012 – Join Pacific Science Center as Professor Wellbody’s Academy of Health & Wellness opens its gates to the public on December 1, 2012. Wellbody Academy holds over 7,000 square feet and two stories of exhibit and program space filled with immersive hands-on inventions, gadgets, activities and technologies that provide experiences that present health as a life-long process of balancing exercise, diet, proper rest and hygiene.

Learn what makes proper sleep a vital and often underappreciated key to health with the giant sleep machine in the Slumbertorium. Or step in front of the giant sneeze wall in the Germnasium and experience first-hand why we should all cover our mouths when we cough or sneeze. Or build a balanced meal with the colorful and interactive conveyer belt-style activity in the Cafédium.

Wellbody Academy reminds all of us that the quality of our wellness is largely determined by a multitude of small choices that people of all generations make every day in their lives,” said Pacific Science Center’s President & CEO Bryce Seidl.

Wellbody Academy opens at Pacific Science Center at a crucial point in the general health of our country. According to National Center for Health statistics nearly one-third of US adults 20 years or older are obese and more than 17% of children fall into this category as well. These are some of the highest obesity rates in the world.

Because Wellbody Academy focuses on life-long wellness by encouraging behaviors that combat many of the health problems facing our region, it has been enthusiastically embraced by both the health and healthcare community.

The idea of Wellbody Academy was first conceived in 2006. An early planning grant from Group Health enabled the Science Center to bring together local and nationally-recognized experts in health and healthcare to form an Advisory Committee to help lead this process. The Committee’s leadership, expertise, vision and great imagination helped guide the content inside the halls of Wellbody Academy to be simultaneously educational and fun.

“This is a way in which the Science Center can contribute to the very goals that the healthcare system is spending tens of millions of dollars to try to achieve,” said Group Health President & CEO, Scott Armstrong, “The return on this investment, we think at Group Health is going to be huge.”

The opening of Wellbody Academy not only coincides with Pacific Science Center’s 50th anniversary, but also comes on the heels of the Science Center receiving the 2012 National Medal for Museum and Library Service from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The Medal is the nation’s highest honor for a museum, recognizing institutions that provide outstanding service to the community.

Wellbody Academy also demonstrates how Pacific Science Center is transforming itself for the future and becoming a more vital connection for the public to current scientific research and discovery.

In addition to providing timeless tools for behavior change, The Studio, a unique space within Wellbody Academy, will showcase current health research taking place in our region, connecting guests with the scientists doing this groundbreaking work and encouraging them to explore careers in health and medicine.

The Studio is supported by a Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) from the National Institutes of Health and a National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Additional support for Wellbody Academy comes from Anonymous, Amgen, Bartell Drugs, Bastyr University, Ben B. Cheney Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The Boeing Company, Darigold Inc, Rick and Terri Downey, D.V. and Ida McEachern Charitable Trust, Delta Dental of Washington, First Choice Health, Lynne Graybeal and Scott Harron, Harold and Mary Frances Hill, Joshua Green Foundation, The Koewler Family, M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, Jim Norris, Nysether Family Foundation, Office Max, Pacific Medical Centers, Judy Pigott, Erik G. Pihl, Public Health - Seattle & King County and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Puget Sound Physicians, PLLC, RL Smith, Seattle Children's, Swedish Medical Center, UW Medicine, Virginia Mason Medical Center and Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason, In honor of Chow Chuan-Yuan and King Kuei-Ru and Robert L. and Mary Ann Wiley.

Since the Science Center opened in 1962, it has been a leader in inquiry-based interactive science education. As an independent not-for-profit institution, Pacific Science Center inspires lifelong interest in science, math and technology by engaging diverse communities through interactive and innovative exhibits and programs. 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.

For more information on the exhibit please contact Katelyn Del Buco at (206) 269-5728 or kdelbuco@pacsci.org.
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