Franklin Institute Explains How “Your Brain” Ticks in New Exhibit

Franklin-Neural Climb-edited

The newest addition to the Franklin Institute aims to challenge and explain the way we experience the world around us. Set to open in June, the 53,000-square-foot “Your Brain” exhibit is slated to be the largest of its kind in the country dedicated to our noggin. Complete with an 18-foot climbable wall of neural webbing, the exhibit aims to turn the complexities of the brain and nervous system into a fun and educational experience for visitors young and old.

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9 Things to Do This Week in Philly: Clue at the Franklin Institute, Rad Girls Quizzo, Night Market in Old City and More

We recommend doing each and every one of these things this week:



3 Ways to Celebrate
Martin Luther King Day in Philly

This photo — trom the Jack T. Franklin Photography Collection of the African American Museum in Philadelphia — shows Rev. King posing with the Philadelphia delegation of the Montgomery Civil Rights March in 1965.

This photo — from Philly’s African American Museum — shows Rev. King posing with the Philadelphia delegation of the Montgomery Civil Rights March in 1965.

Our daily roundup of what’s happening today in Philly. This go round, we’ve got three of the city’s best MLK Day Celebrations.

Eastern State Penitentiary (ESP) wraps up its weekend-long Martin Luther King celebrations with an afternoon of readings, MLK-centric prison tours and a chance to create some art. Today at, 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. professional actors will present a live reading of King’s famous Letter From Birmingham Jail followed by a Q&A with a civil rights scholar. If you’re bringing kids along, or if you’re in a particularly crafty mood, Art Sanctuary will set up stations for guests to create works in response to the text. There will also be guided tours of the museum, with an emphasis on how the civil rights movement affected inmates at ESP, and how they reacted when they heard the news of MLK’s assassination. 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., readings are free but reservations are required, $10-$14 for tours, Eastern State Penitentiary, 2027 Fairmount Ave., easternstate.org.

More MLK Day happenings after the jump

Franklin Institute Names New President

Philadelphia Business Journal: “The Franklin Institute said Friday it has promoted its chief operating officer to be its next leader. Larry Dubinski will take over July 1 from the science museum’s president and CEO of two decades, Dennis M. Wint, who will become president emeritus and plans to teach at Drexel University. Dubinski, who also serves as general counsel and secretary at the Franklin Institute, received unanimous support from the board of trustees.” Dubinski has been with the Institute, off and on, since 1996.

Franklin Institute Chief Stepping Down After 2 Decades

The Franklin Institute, home to the beloved giant heart and the worst movie theater in Philadelphia, is losing its leader of two decades, Dennis Wint. The 70-year-old Wint, who became president and CEO in 1995, will have been the longest serving president in the museum’s nearly 200-year-old history when he steps down at the end of 2014. He presided over the creation of Philly’s annual science festival and the Science Leadership Academy, a magnet school affiliated with the Institute.

A big item remaining on his agenda is overseeing the completion of the Nicholas and Athena Karabots Pavilion, a 53,000-square-foot expansion that is scheduled to open in June. It features a new exhibit on the human brain, a climate-controlled gallery for special exhibitions, and an education center with classrooms and conference space.

He’ll continue to teach at Drexel after he resigns, for its forthcoming graduate program on museum leadership. [Inquirer]

This Is “Your Brain” on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway

Thanks to a renovation project in 2004, The Franklin Institute’s “The Giant Heart” includes a 5,000 square-foot exhibit with interactive devices and a massive EKG wave. Now, though, the Institute is pulling a Scarecrow and looking to get itself a brain. Construction of a new exhibit dedicated to the human brain began back in April. The 8,500-square-foot exposition called “Your Brain” should be ready by the summer of 2014. It’ll basically have a jungle gym of electrical and chemical brain signals, so we’re going to go ahead and have our birthday party there. If you’re invited, please be advised that we’re asking for the classic version of the board game Risk (NOT the computer game and NOT the version that takes place 200 years in the future). Captain Planet DVDs and G.I. Joes are also appropriate gifts. [Inquirer]

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