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You Are the Surgeon at The Tech Museum's New Exhibition -- Zap! Surgery

Press Release Date 
Wednesday, December 18, 2002
Take a virtual ride into the human body, experiment with lasers and explore the latest life-saving surgical procedures A new traveling exhibition, Zap! Surgery Beyond the Cutting Edge, at The Tech Museum of Innovation will allow children and adults alike to become surgeons for a day -- using the latest technologies to zap tumors, correct vision, and break up kidney stones. The exhibition opens January 31, 2003.

Zap! Surgery demonstrates the basic science concepts behind some of the fastest-growing surgical techniques used by medical professionals today: lasers, endoscopes, ultrasound, cryosurgery and the Gamma Knife. Interactive and multi-media exhibits demonstrate how different forms of energy are manipulated in instruments used to surgically treat the human body. While learning about these procedures, visitors gain an appreciation and understanding of the science behind them, as well as for the dynamics of the human body and health issues.
"Not only will this exhibit enhance the understanding of our guests who may someday need these faster, safer, less-invasive surgeries, but it will also evoke interest in the field of medicine among young people," said Peter Giles, The Tech's president and CEO.

Zap! Surgery is organized into five modules, each presenting a specific surgical technology: lasers, endoscopes, ultrasound, cryosurgery and the Gamma Knife. Each module presents the basic science principles behind the surgical technologies, encourages visitors to perform simulated surgeries and offers video clips of surgical procedures, patients' stories from patients, doctors and scientists, and risks and benefits.

In addition to the five modules, Zap! Surgery features ZapCam, a fifteen-person, full motion cabin simulator ride, where visitors experience the featured surgical technologies from various points inside the human body, and Zap Jr., designed for children ages 5-8, that encourages the exploration of human anatomy and medical technologies through role playing, assembling a large, body-shaped magnetic puzzle, and playing an oversized version of Hasbro's Operation® game.

On Saturdays and Sundays in March (March 8, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23, 29, 30), The Tech will offer additional special activities on the topic of health. Through interactive programs and guest speakers, visitors will learn about body image, sports health, alternative medicine, mental health, reproduction, surgical risks, and women's health issues.

For more information on Zap! Surgery and a detailed schedule of guest speakers and special programs, visit The Tech's web site at

Zap! Surgery is owned by Carnegie Science Center. National sponsors include Richard King Mellon Foundation, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Health Systems, Johnson & Johnson, and in-kind support from ETHICON ENDO-SURGERY, Inc. and SONY Technologies. Local sponsors include Susan and John Diekman (Principal Sponsor), The Valley Foundation (Associate Sponsor), Isy Goldwasser (Supporting Sponsor) and Kaiser Permanente (Supporting Sponsor).

Zap! Surgery will be at The Tech from January 31, 2003 through September 1, 2003. Premiering September 2000 at the Great Lakes Science Center in Cleveland, Ohio, the exhibit has traveled to science centers in Pittsburgh, North Carolina and Edmonton. The exhibit will travel to the New York Hall of Science after its stay at The Tech.

The Tech Museum of Innovation is a non-profit educational institution that engages people of all ages and backgrounds in exploring and experiencing the technologies affecting their lives and aims to inspire the innovator in everyone. Located in the heart of downtown San Jose, at 201 S. Market Street, The Tech is open daily, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the summer, and Tuesday through Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the school year. For more information, visit our website at or call (408) 294-TECH.