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Science center: 'Sesame Street' exhibit contains body language for kids

By Dewayne Bevil, Orlando Sentinel

2:42 PM EDT, September 27, 2013

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Who doesn't want to go to Sesame Street?

A real-life version of the famed address is part of a new Orlando Science Center exhibit called "Sesame Street Presents The Body," which opens to the public on Saturday. I had a sneak peek of the area, and I'm thinking preschoolers may go a little ape over the interactive elements and (yikes) accidentally learn something, too. There's an Oscar the Grouch Sneeze Machine, for Pete's sake.

I was partial to Count's Count the Organ Organ, which, at the push of a key, breaks into a song devoted to an internal organ. Where else do you hear the phrase "one lovely pancreas"? The Organ Organ is near an area dedicated to the digestive process. It has a steampunkish mechanism spotlighting saliva, stomach acid (so unpretty) and, um, waste. It's labeled as "eat, digest, poo." Poo!

Other stations are more serious but fun. Rosita's Locomotion encourages movement by using footpower, wheelchair or rower to complete a race depicted on a big screen. The many uses of a hand are explored. Nutritional facts are attached to a mock grocery that lets kids use a fun scanning gun and a diner stocked with "everyday food" and build-a-burger puzzles.

This is done with the usual "Sesame Street" visual flair, but there's audio that takes you back too. On the soundtrack was a swingin' version of "Rubber Ducky." And if you ring one of the multiple doorbells at the famed stoop, you'll be greeted by the sounds of a Muppet friend.

The exhibition emphasizes scientific investigation and developmental goals but in a friendly, preschool fashion. Sometime the characters are presented in unusual ways, such as a picture of Bert sneezing into the crook of his arm rather than his open hand. 

And, yes, adults can pick up a fact or two. There are more bones in the hand (27) than in the foot (26), says the exhibit. The thumb is the hardest-working finger. And a preschooler "needs at least one hour of physical movement each day."

There are preschoolers that aren't in perpetual motion? You learn something every day.

"Sesame Street Presents The Body" runs through Jan. 5. It's included in regular science center admission of $19 ($13 for ages 3-11). For more information, go to OSC.org.