Bakken Museum exhibit gives new perspective on prosthetic technology

The Bakken Museum is highlighting prosthetic technology in a new exhibit that aims to educate visitors, especially children, about assisted devices and the people who wear them.

The Personal Prostheses exhibit is part of a larger exhibit called Designing for Life, which will be on display until at least the end of the year.

“There are human stories at the center of these different innovations,” said assistant curator Nick Williams. “I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve seen children in here trying the prosthetic arms and they say, ‘wow this would be really hard to do everyday.’”

The exhibit is in partnership with Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare. Employees in the hospitals prosthetics division were hands-on in curating the experience, while patients stories are highlighted throughout.

“I think exhibits like this really can open eyes and give people a new perspective on things when it  comes to people with disabilities,” said Pete Winslow.

Winslow was born without most of his limbs. He wears a prosthetic arm to play trombone.

“I love how it’s set up here where the kids can really pick up a prosthetic and see how it feels.”

As part of the exhibit, visitors are challenged to try and flip pancakes while wearing a prosthetic arm. The exercise aiming to give them an idea of how challenging everyday tasks can be, and how technology can assist upper extremity amputees.

“I hope that one day one of the kids that comes through and sees this exhibit will be a future prosthetist,” said Gillette prosthetist Michelle Hall.

In the coming weeks, the Bakken will be expanding the exhibit to include even more features.

“It’s really cool to see family’s come in and parents explain stuff or kids just discover it for themselves,” said Winslow.