The best-selling cheeky survival-tip book, “The Worst Case Scenario” is taking on a life of its own through the Franklin Institute’s latest exhibit. The book, which also celebrated it’s 20th anniversary with updated info this spring, touched on real-life dangerous situations and provided expert tips on how to survive while still making the material fun, playful and perfect for all ages. Authors David Borgenicht and Josh Piven teamed up with the FI to bring the content of the book to life through immersive activities and real-life scenario simulations with plenty of fun and laughter in between.
Test your survival skills at the Franklin Institute’s latest exhibit
“The Worst Case Scenario: Survival Experience” world premiere opened last weekend, and already the unique exhibit is a hit. When the authors of the book decided to elevate their wildly popular franchise even more with an interactive exhibit, they thought of no better place to start than Philadelphia. Living in the City of Brotherly Love themselves it was the perfect fit, and with Philly also being home to one of the premier science museums in the country, you could also say it was their best-case scenario.
“We brought it to Franklin to get some advice about whether or not it was possible to do and to build something like this. They said that it was and that they wanted to do it with us, it was really a partnership,” says Piven. “Other museums look to the Franklin Institute to see how exhibits do to judge whether or not they will bring them to their cities. So it’s really great to have that here.”
The gymnasium-style exhibit features thirteen different survival scenario challenges that will test guests of all ages in a fun and unique way. Philadelphians can learn the safest way to jump from a moving train, pick a lock, escape from quicksand, survive an avalanche, and more through the helpful tips and side-by-side training the exhibit provides.
“It’s really a safe and playful way to activate the book and unleash your inner survival expert and your inner action hero,” says Borgenicht. “The biggest takeaway is to manage your fear—it’s true that the biggest thing to fear is fear itself. If you manage to remain calm you are going to be at least 50% more likely to get through anything. It’s when you panic that you make mistakes and problems arise. Our hope is that when people come to the exhibit, they really get the overall message that no matter what it is the world throws at you, there’s going to be a way to survive it.”
According to the release, “The Worst Case Scenario: Survival Experience” also features tools that can be used for extreme survival including counterintuitive uses for everyday items on display, plus graphics that share how to identify anxiety and fear within the body and uncover how stress, physical exhaustion, and disorientation can make an activity, like surviving, more challenging.
The world premiere exhibit also highlights incredibly brave individuals and everyday heroes in the Hall of Fame gallery. Survivors of wildly dangerous experiences relay what they did to survive, and experts who encounter risky scenarios daily (emergency first responders, wildlife rescue workers, psychologists, and physical trainers) also relay important information to keep in mind.
Guests can also listen in on additional advice and instructions from the original audiobook voiced by film legend Burt Reynolds, and a live actor aka the “Worst Case Pro” will be walking around the exhibit to get guests in the survival mood and remind them of the three most important tools: be prepared, don’t panic and have a plan.
“This has been a 20 year-long endeavor, it can be a scary world out there these days but with the right attitude and the right experts you can make it through anything,” says Borgenicht. “I think that’s what people have responded to in the book, and that’s what people will respond to through the experience here at the Franklin Institute. Hopefully, we can all stay calm and help each other out of the ball pits of life.”
“The Worst Case Scenario: Survival Exhibit” will be at the Franklin Insitute (222 N 20th St.) until April 2020. For more information visit fi.edu