Dear Educator,

Have you ever wondered where your liver was located? Or what smoker’s lung looks like? Or how your muscles perform when you run? These and more questions will be answered through Our Body: The Universe Within.

Our Body: The Universe Within literally as well as figuratively goes "under the skin,” revealing the complexity of the human body and allowing visitors an up-close, 3-dimensional look at their inner make-up. Rather than use models of the human body, Our Body: The Universe Within uses actual human bodies to provide the general public a look at what normally only doctors and scientists are allowed to see first-hand, making this a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The goal of Our Body: The Universe Within is that visitors leave with a deeper understanding of the body’s form and function and a stronger appreciation for staying fit and healthy.

Your students will be able to explore the body parts that allow them to think, to breath, to move—and the "freeways" that circulate the blood that keeps the motor in constant motion.

Our Body: The Universe Within is a contemplative, moving, educational, once-in-a-lifetime experience. For thousands of years, physicians and artists have worked side-by-side to document the mysteries of the human body. Our Body: The Universe Within explores the history and art of the study of human anatomy—the centuries-old struggle to uncover the truth about its mysterious inner workings.

Important information you should know about
Our Body: The Universe Within:

The exhibit features complete human bodies and anatomical specimens. The bodies and organs have been preserved using a polymer impregnation process.

The specimens in the exhibition come from individuals who voluntarily agreed that upon their death, their bodies could be used for medical science and the study of anatomy.

Most specimens are without skin so that the bones, muscles, nerves, blood vessels, and organs are visible. Full body specimens include eyes and genitals.

A separate section of the exhibition includes prenatal development and presents embryos and fetuses. This section will be clearly marked, and you may choose whether this area is appropriate or not for your group.


Deborah Massey
Head of School and Teacher Programs

Tips for Making the Most of Your Visit to
Our Body: The Universe Within


Due to the graphic nature of this exhibit, we encourage you to consider whether this visit is for your class. Please review the curriculum materials, descriptions of the exhibit, and pictures on the web sites: and

Educator's Guide—Grades 5–8
Educator's Guide—Grades 9–12
Newspaper Education Supplement

If you wish to preview the exhibit in person at the RMSC you may do so at the reduced rate of $16 per teacher (includes museum admission).

Consider complementing the exhibit with the giant-screen film The Human Body (Grades 3-9).

Call (585)697-1942 to make your reservation.


Discuss the visit with your students. Explain what they will see and the purpose of the exhibit. Be prepared to answer questions during your visit.

Use the Curriculum Materials that have been mailed to you (see above links to download) and those at to prepare your students for their visit. Familiarity with the polymer impregnation process along with the specifics of the exhibit prior to your visit will allow for a more enjoyable and valuable educational experience.

Signed permission slips are recommended for each student. After you reserve your visit, a permission form for your students will be sent to you along with some curriculum support materials. Any student who chooses not to view the exhibit, or whose parent or guardian does not wish them to do so, will be allowed to visit other RMSC exhibits if you provide adequate supervision.


Answer your students' questions in an honest and straightforward fashion. It’s ok not to know all the answers. Use these teachable moments to expand their and your knowledge by looking up the answer in a book or on the internet when you return.

Children understand concepts better when they can relate to the information. Take the opportunity to relate different parts of the human body to your students' hobbies.

Be sensitive to your students as well as their reactions. People come away from the exhibit with many different interpretations.


Extend and reinforce your visit with classroom activities. Encourage your students to explore interests further using additional resources.