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Queens Chronicle

Zap Surgery Lets Youngsters Be Cutting-Edge Surgeons

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Posted: Thursday, July 7, 2005 12:00 am

Youngsters with time on their hands this summer and a scientific bent can learn what it means to be a surgeon at the new Zap Surgery exhibit that just opened at the New York Hall of Science. Adults will find plenty to interest them, too.

The Carnegie Science Center traveling exhibit will remain at the Flushing Meadows Park museum through September 4th. So kids have plenty of time to hone their surgical skills at this hands-on display.

The various displays are reminiscent of pinball and other interactive games so that participants are having fun while they are learning to zap kidney stones, perform microsurgery or remove cataracts.

Topics on display include cryosurgery, lasers, endoscopes, ultrasound and the Gamma knife. Adults will have a new appreciation of surgeons when they try to perform microsurgery and are all thumbs.

“This is so much fun,” one youngster said at a sneak preview last Thursday. “I am zapping away the kidney stones.”

There is even an area for younger children featuring a giant-sized Operation game, where kids try to carefully remove a body part without setting off the buzzer. It’s a lot of fun and not as easy as it looks.

The ultimate highlight of the show is the ZapCam, a 15-person cabin simulator ride like you’d find in Disney World. This one offers a ride through the human body similar to the classic sci-fi movie “Fantastic Voyage.”

The ride rocks and turns and participants see surgical procedures from various points inside the human body. You could call it a thrill ride where visitors learn as well as have a good time.

Once again, the hall’s special exhibit is housed in the Great Hall, a leftover giant space from the 1964 World’s Fair. Its height and darkened appearance add to the Zap Surgery’s allure. Because it is more of an enclosed space than the rest of the hall, youngsters tend to be more quiet and attentive.

Summer is a perfect time to visit the Hall of Science. Kids can cool off in the hands-on museum and then use some of that young energy at the outdoor science playground. Hours are Monday to Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and weekends, 10 a. m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call 718-699-0005 or log on to www.nyscience.org.

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