THE TEXAS COLORADO RIVER ROLLING EXHIBIT!

Bringing the River to Our Schools. This cutting-edge mobile museum brings a high-quality STEM field-trip experience to our schools, inspiring the next generation of Texas water stewards.

Teens today will face tomorrow’s water choices. We want to make sure they are ready to lead. Housed in a 42-foot trailer, this project brings a museum-quality learning experience to Central Texas schools. Students enter a watery world where science and technology merge to encourage critical thinking about our most precious resource. Interactive models and electronic games engage and instruct, inspiring students to go out and make a difference. Learn more about this program:

Rolling Exhibit Program Updates:

THROUGH THE GENEROUS SUPPORT OF

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October 2015: The Alliance promotes Environmental Sustainability at Schools and Online 

Test your water sustainability knowledge: Our Rolling Exhibit’s electronic water sustainability game, Texas 2040 is particularly challenging for students to win.  They must keep our river flowing until the year 2040 by investing in water conservation technology and policies, while facing population increase and droughts. The Alliance now provides this game online: Test your water conservation knowledge!
Texas 2040: Save Our Rivers. Save Our Future.

The Texas Colorado River Rolling Exhibit served over 1060 people in the first quarter of its second year of operation, including 724 7th graders!  The Rolling Exhibit electrified students at Burnet, Murchison, and Kealing Middle Schools.  During each campus visit, a full week of TEKS-aligned teaching curriculum and interactive demonstrations was loaded into classrooms; students undertook four lessons about water conservation, flooding and runoff, Texas eco-regions and weathering, and watershed pollution.  To get a glimpse of the magic happening at middle school campuses we visit, check out our program’s YouTube video or hit “play” below!

August 2015: Back to the Future: Rolling Exhibit goes back to school! 

On August 17, 2015, the Alliance and key Program Sponsor Samsung Semiconductor celebrated the Texas Colorado Rolling Exhibit’s first full-year launch to Austin Independent School District (AISD) middle school campuses. Over 6000 7th grade students will experience our exhibits, plus five days of interactive, hands-on lesson plans inside the classroom!

These Samsung Employee family members look forward to a future visit to their classrooms:

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June 2015: Feeling Grand: Over 1,000 Austinites dive into Our Rolling Exhibit!

In six weeks, 1,301 people “took the plunge” inside the Texas Colorado River Rolling Exhibit as it visited sites around Austin. Over 906 7th graders at middle schools and 395 people at community events toured the interactive exhibits, videos, and games within the cool, watery blue exhibit space. In addition to touring the exhibits, students undertook 6 days of classroom-based learning that included customized lesson plans with ecoregion models, flood simulators, and water pollution investigations.

One highlight of the Rolling Exhibit’s Community Events schedule was visiting the Texas Water Development Board off Congress Avenue in downtown Austin:

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Adults and 7th Graders alike were eager to undertake our challenging interactive game to keep our river flowing to the year 2040:

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April 2015: Getting Ready to Rock: Alliance’s Rolling Exhibit Takes Shape

Supported by the design wizardry of MuseWork and expert craftsmanship from Blue Genie, the Alliance is set to launch the Texas Colorado River Rolling Exhibit to 7th grade campuses within the Austin Independent School District (AISD) throughout May!  Exhibit fabricators, designers, and Alliance staff have been swarming the trailer’s exterior and interior to prepare for visits students and teachers:

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Unit 1: The Texas Colorado River watershed exhibit has back-lit panels and features that emphasize the connectivity of the various tributaries, Highland Lakes, and dams. Students will grasp the journey their drinking water takes through water bodies like Lake Travis and Lake Austin.

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Unit 4: Our exhibit about Austin’s water has interactive “flip-photo” features, as well as home water use calculators so visitors can quickly estimate and compare their water use to both Austinites and the average American!

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Wrapped like the best present ever:  MuseWork’s designers combine river imagery and a vibrant color palette to make sure anyone within sight of our rolling exhibit will notice it:

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March 2015: Future Forecast: Passionate Water Stewards

Our climate future is uncertain, however the Alliance is confidently preparing passionate students who will be active voices for a healthy Texas Colorado River.  Slated for launch in May 2015, our Rolling Exhibit has several exhibits that put 7th graders in science and resource management roles.   Units 5 & 6 provide quick previews of Austin’s growing water needs and the weather that is predicted to affect our watershed.  These science-based previews line the gateway to Unit 7, where students play an interactive game with the objective of sustaining Austin’s water supply through the year 2040. 

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Austin 2040: Within the backdrop of Austin’s downtown waterfront, students must grapple with growing human populations and their demand on water resources. Weather events such as droughts further impact water supply, however students can implement water-saving technology and policies by paying for them with tax revenues.  Players win the game if they sustain water flow until the year 2040 without running out of money.

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Close-ups of the interactive game’s touchscreen interface shows what students are challenged with:  the nexus of water demand & supply, money, policy, and technology! At each turn of the game’s play, students are provided “texting” feedback about their water resources situation… It is not easy, but definitely fun!

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February 2015: Sneak Peek: Rolling Exhibit Fabrication Begins!

The Texas Colorado River Rolling Exhibit is undergoing a dramatic transformation. The folks from MuseWork and Blue Genie Art Industries have begun working on our 42-foot trailer’s interior and exhibits; take a peek at what the “magic” will look like!:

Before: Every inch of the trailer’s interior is inspected and measured! (click to enlarge)

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After:  The following concept drawing shows the same area above with our exhibit on Austin’s Water on the left, and our Austin 2040 interactive game through the tunnel. (click to enlarge)

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The exhibit fabricators (also known as “Genies”) have a detailed process by which they will create the exhibits from detailed design files that we’ve worked together on for over a year.  The exhibits will be installed within a backdrop of carefully designed spotlighting and back-lighting that will draw viewers’ eyes to exhibit features and information.  Here’s another interior view looking towards the front of the interior space containing our exhibit on the Texas Colorado River Watershed:

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December 2014: Trailer Arrives for installation! Explore Exhibit on Austin’s Water

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Unit 4: Austin’s Water

Our Rolling Exhibit takes you underground! Imagine crawling underneath Austin’s roads. There’s a network of pipes that delivers every drop of water that our citizens, businesses, and factories use. This hidden circulatory system is revealed when 7th grade students explore our Rolling Exhibit. Students grasp four points about Austin’s Urban Water Cycle:

  1. We clean river water before using it: We pump water from the Texas Colorado River and clean it at a water treatment plant before using it at homes, schools and businesses.
  2. Pipes deliver our water throughout the city: A vast network of underground pipes act like the veins and organs that run through the human body to provide water, and get rid of waste water.
  3. After using water, we clean it again before returning it to nature: We clean waste water from homes before releasing it back to our river. We recycle some of our used water by putting it on lawns, parks, and gardens around the city.
  4. Your everyday water use habits make a difference: The only way to conserve this precious resource is through actions by every person.

What students see and feel: We unearth a world of pipes that students have never seen before but use every day. We show how Austin’s urban water cycle works the same way water goes from nature, through a human body, and back to nature again. Along the way, we present students fascinating facts about Austin’s water supply, and their personal role in conserving a precious resource. Visitors can compare their personal usage with the average person in Austin and the United States through an interactive daily water use calculator. This Rolling Exhibit challenges students through engaging question and answer panels to think about how we can recycle water by using it more than once. Click images below for expanded views.

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Water’s underground journey to you and beyond: Austin has thousands of miles of underground water pipes.  Without them, people and the entire city of Austin would cease to function.

 

 

 

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Conservation = $:  Students learn their role in determining how much water Austin takes from the Colorado River, and how efficiently it is used, and how that affects our economy.

 

 

 

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Water (re)cycling:  This exhibit features facts such as how you can use treated waste water right on parks and lawns in Austin.

 

 

 

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The big water picture:  Students will learn how much water they use every day, and how they compare to average Austinites and Americans overall in the big picture of domestic water use.

 

 

 

October 2014: Multi-dimensional, Multi-Media Exhibits

Unit 3, Watershed Pollution and Solutions

 

Of Algae Apocalypses, and Sucky Sediments: Our “Pollutions and Solutions” Exhibit is memorable. What?! “Zombie-fied” algae and a “rain of dirt” from runoff threaten our waterways? 7th graders across the Texas Colorado River watershed will find out about these and other pollution threats in the Alliance’s “Pollutions and Solutions” Rolling Exhibit. Our approach contains three key educational messages:

  1. Pollution starts with you: We activate students’ abilities to recognize different kinds of pollution by peoples’ every-day activities, and how they enter our waterways.
  2. Pollution is gross, and sometimes deadly: Pollution from fertilizers, construction sites, cars, and animal waste results in icky, mucky habitats with nasty critters that can make people sick and kill wildlife.
  3. Pollution ends with you: Every single person can help stop pollution from getting into our watershed. There are role models everywhere; from responsible dog owners, to automotive mechanics, to scientists.

What students see, hear, and feel: Students explore super-magnified views of microscopic “pollution nasties” such as harmful bacteria and algae blooms, as well as their causes such as over-abundant nutrients. Video segments play on-demand, and depict charismatic scientists illustrating pollution’s effects on people and wildlife in the Texas Colorado River. For more details, students can pick and explore “pollution and solution” discs that reinforce the exhibits educational messages with vivid imagery and details that tell a true story about what’s happening in our watershed. Click images below for expanded views.

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To see, hear, and feel is to understand:  Students explore “Pollution and Solutions” through a 3-D magnification display, Engaging Video segments, and hand-held information discs.

 

 

 

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Gross!  What’s that stuff in our water? Most pollutants can’t be seen by eye once they enter our waterways.  This exhibit magnifies pollutants and their effects on human health and wildlife. Students will recognize them and become inspired to reduce pollution.

 

 

Algae_apocalypseAn Algae Apocalypse!  Students will finally find out the cause of big, green mats of algae that can be seen in places like Barton Springs, and creeks in the Texas Colorado River watershed.

 

 

 

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Take a closer look!  Our exhibits pollution and solutions discs enable students to reinforce their understanding of the link between pollution sources in their every-day lives and their effects on our watershed.

 

 

 

September 2014: Multi-dimensional, Multi-Media Exhibits

Unit 1, The Texas Colorado River Watershed

The Colorado River Alliance, MuseWork exhibit designers, and a Task Force of content experts have worked together to create interactive, multi-media exhibits inside a state-of-the-art mobile learning space. Development has progressed nicely, integrating stunning imagery and graphics within 3D exhibits that engage students to make choices, reveal insights, and learn through achieving game objectives. Click images below for expanded views.

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Rolling Exhibit bird’s eye view:  This travelling system is designed to house over 15 people inside at a time, while a separate group of students work on learning activities outside or in the classroom.

 

 

First Impressions: Unit1_3Students are presented an overview of the Texas Colorado River Watershed the moment they enter the Rolling Exhibit.

 

 

 

Unit1_1Underground, close to Water: Exhibits are presented within an immersive setting that conveys the interface between science, technology, engineering and Mathematics as they are applied towards managing water resources. The 42 foot long trailer is taller than standard trailers, providing a roomy feel for students and teachers.  It contains slide-outs that permit more room for exploration and learning.  Every inch of space has been considered with regard to visitor experiences and learning objectives.

 

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A Watershed Revealed: Unit 1 presents students multi-layered information and views of the interconnectedness of the Texas Colorado River watershed, its river and tributaries, and highland lakes.

 

 

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