Museum Educators Enjoy Evening At American Museum Of Natural History
It would be impossible for the estimated 500 educators who attended the recent Educator’s Evening at the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) to come away without feeling excitement for classroom possibilities of the new exhibition Water: H²O=Life. To start the evening, they walked through a row of activity/resource tables collecting information and materials helpful to teaching about water.
“My sixth grade science teacher inspired me,” said Eleanor Sterling, the exhibit’s curator and director of the Center of Biodiversity and Conservation at the museum, greeting the guests. “We hope educators will bring their classrooms here to inspire and engage them,” she added. Running slide highlights of the exhibit, Ms. Sterling explained that its objective is to provide information about a precious resource, the environmental concerns formed by its degradation and actions people can take to help preserve it.
Museum packets given to participants included Educator’s Guides to help teachers prepare their students for their field trips to get the most of their visits and initiate follow-up activities. The museum is also seeking Living Environment Teachers for a pilot test involving workshops and case studies (for information email@example.com).
Educators toured the exhibit (running through May 26 2008) with its dramatic entry of a fog screen resembling a waterfall, stunning installations and riveting wall texts offering startling facts. A salient example is that water is not a renewal resource and what exists on earth is all we will ever have, and less than 1 percent of it is available for human use. In 27 countries, most in Africa and Asia, water is not easily accessible to half the population and many rivers there are highly polluted. The show includes international exhibits such as a meteorite from Australia containing 15 per cent water and display devoted to mammoth Three Gorges Dam in China. There is also much here to engage the younger students, who may not relate to the sophisticated world of the water story.
For more information or to get an Educator’s Guide go to: Amnh.org/education/water. (AMNH, Central Park West at 79th St. amnh.org Tel. 212- 769-5100.)#