For years, one of the most popular exhibits at Discovery Gateway: The Children’s Museum of Utah, has been the authentic Life Flight helicopter perched atop the museum’s 3rd floor terrace. The helicopter is in view to shoppers visiting The Gateway, and inspires kids of all ages to imagine piloting the helicopter on a lifesaving rescue mission. Donated by Intermountain Healthcare, the Life Flight helicopter has been the main attraction of the Saving Lives from the Sky exhibit, where kids could also learn how to prevent accidents and stay safe.
On September 21, the museum opened an expanded exhibit, with the construction of a mock Primary Children’s Hospital
Emergency Department, featuring interactive areas for triage, imaging, dress up, front desk/charge nurse and surgery where children can perform surgeries using custom-designed iPad apps.
“We believe it will give children a glimpse of what it is like to take care of people and save lives. And it may show children how exciting a career in healthcare can be,” said Amy Pasmann, director of Emergency Services at Primary Children’s Hospital.
The new Saving Lives exhibit is a hands-on experience, with interactive opportunities for up to 40 children at one time. Kids can choose from the various roles necessary to take care of patients. They can do everything from coordinating a Life Flight launch, to caring for patients in a new interactive treatment area in the Life Flight helicopter, to using a gurney track to transport patients from the helicopter to the Primary Children’s Emergency Department.
Once inside the emergency department, kids can choose to play the role hospital emergency team member. Whether it’s treating patients in the triage area, taking X-rays or a CT/MRI scan, tracking patient progress at the charge nurse station, or joining the surgical team to perform one of three surgeries via iPad apps, including skull, wrist, or leg fracture surgeries. The custom apps will guide children through the steps of performing these surgeries.
“This new exhibit is going to allow hundreds of thousands of visitors get a hands-on feeling for what it’s like to be a helicopter pilot or a surgeon, leading them to a variety of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields as they grow and discover more about the world around them,” explains museum CEO, Maria Farrington.