The Witte Museum’s H-E-B Body Adventure: Transforming Health through full body experience via technology & civic engagement with metric outcomes

Your Name and Title:

Bryan Bayles, PhD, MPH Curator of Anthropology & Health, The Witte Museum

Museum or Organization Name:

 Witte Museum

Co-Presenter Name(s):

Marise McDermott, President & CEO Witte Museum
Thomas Schlenker, MD, MPH, Director San Antonio Metropolitan Health District
Kate Rogers, Vice President of Community and Engagement, H-E-B Grocery Company

Area of the World from Which You Will Present:

San Antonio Texas

Language in Which You Will Present:


Target Audience(s):

Museum Professionals, Healthcare and public health professionals, educators; IT professionals

Short Session Description (one line):

The Witte Museum’s H-E-B Body Adventure: Transforming Health through full body experience via technology & civic engagement with metric outcomes

Full Session Description (as long as you would like):

This session will present how the Witte Museum is harnessing the power of sustained, collaborative partnerships with the food industry, local government, nonprofits, and leaders in the healthcare, business and biotech industries to create a bold national model to ignite health behavior change for family members of all ages. The Witte Museum’s President and CEO, Curator of Anthropology and Health, Kate Rogers, Vice President of Community and Engagement, H-E-B, and the Dr. Thomas Schlencker, Director of the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District all of whom helped craft the health lexicon for the interactive components and data collection strategies.

The H-E-B Body Adventure
This May, the Witte Museum celebrated the grand opening of its spectacular new four-story, indoor-outdoor H-E-B Body Adventure Powered by University Health System, designed by JKA and Associates. Located in beautiful, historic Brackenridge Park and perched aside the San Antonio River, the Witte has been a key community anchor, the “People’s Museum,” for over 86 years, with more than 430,000 visitors each year, 170,000 of whom are school-aged children and visitors from all 50 states. The spectacular new $5 million dollar H-E-B Body Adventure builds on this equity to bring sustained, meaningful civic engagement to help solve some of the nation’s most pressing health needs: obesity, preventable chronic disease such as type 2 diabetes and poor nutrition.
The goals of the H-E-B Body Adventure are (1) to provide a safe haven for learning about how our bodies work (Health IQ/Health Literacy), (2) to interactively empower visitors to set achievable health goals (Empowerment and Attainable Goals) and (3) to persuasively offer visitors the skills to sustain health and wellness throughout their lifetime (Wellness). To accomplish these revolutionary goals, the Witte Museum introduces peer modeling, physical activity, gaming technologies, and a regionally relatable cultural focus into a four-story, immersive, indoor-outdoor museum environment. The three key themes of Health IQ, Empowerment, and Wellness shape the content of the exhibition components.
Activities such as the South Texas Trailblaze and the Pick-Up-Your Pace energy meter provide fun physical activity challenges, interactive computer games like Build A Balanced Meal will prompt moments of discovery, a two-story Go-Through Gut and real plastinated human specimens (heart and gastrointestinal tract) immerse visitors in anatomy and teach principles of physiology. Wellness and relaxation components like Relax To Win and Relax Your Brain will test a visitor’s mental concentration and mindful self-awareness, while visitors learn about healthy eating in our full-scale Demonstration Kitchen and outdoor culinary vegetable and herb gardens. A Toddler Discovery Garden playscape offers a safe, comfortable space for young children and their families to experience physical activity in an environment that also promotes positive social norms of healthy eating and nutrition.

Pioneering POWERPass Technology and Data/Metrics
At the heart of the H-E-B Body Adventure is a technological system of networked exhibition components called the Power Pass. The Power Pass technology is the key differentiator between the H-E-B Body Adventure and other health science museums. Visitors to the H-E-B Body Adventure sign-in and select one of twelve Buddies to guide them through four stories of immersive activities. The Power Pass not only provides new and thoroughly engaging and personalized museum experiences, but also allows for rigorous evaluation of entirely anonymous (non-personally identifiable) visitor demographics and experience, behavior and health data through a back-end SQL server database on an unprecedented scale. Through enduring partnerships with the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District and healthcare industry leaders, this data will be shared through aggregated quarterly reports to inform planning and outreach for public health efforts throughout the nations seventh largest, and fastest-growing city.

Websites / URLs Associated with Your Session:

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