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Science Center in Carbondale to feature Smithsonian exhibit exploring water

Science Center to feature Smithsonian exhibit exploring water

The sign for the Carbondale Science Center.

CARBONDALE — It has been more than five years since a Smithsonian exhibit has been featured in Carbondale, said Chris Walls, executive director of the city's Science Center. 

From Dec. 10 into the new year, the Science Center — in partnership with Illinois Humanities — will be featuring Water/Ways, an exhibit from the Smithsonian Institution which explores human-biosphere interactions in a water based environment. 

The Museum on Main Street, or MOMS, exhibit is one of six in the nation to be featured by the Smithsonian Institution.   

"Essentially they put together a really nice exhibit that travels around to six locations, and with the standard exhibit each organization come up with their own curated supplementary exhibits," Walls said. 

The exhibit from the Smithsonian consist of six panels that will reflect the various ways that water impacts humanity, Walls said. 

"They’re six large panels that just reflect how water impacts all of us in a variety of different ways — through energy, and transportation and mostly through our bodies, and how we absorb it, and how we pollute it and how we fix the pollution," he said.

Along with artifacts borrowed from the museum at Southern Illinois University Carbondale — to show the history of rivers in and around Southern Illinois — Walls said, the exhibit is a group effort. It will also feature a collection of images from the Ohio River Works — to be collected by Gayle Klam and Sarah Heyer, executive director for Keep Carbondale Beautiful.

The exhibit will also feature a river model to educate people on the water flow of dams. 

"We’ve got a 16-foot river model with locks and dams so that kids can maneuver and manipulate the water flow on one half of the exhibit, and then on the other half we are going to mold and 3D print — with the help of Jennifer Horton at SIU library — a different variety of boats so that kids can see how they flow on water and how scientist can manipulate boats to work faster on water," Walls said. “It’s going to be really neat we anticipate a lot of people coming and seeing it."

Water/Ways will be featured from Dec. 10 to Jan. 22 at the Science Center in University Mall with the $5 admission fee.  

This story has been updated to correct the name of the Science Center's executive director.


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Nefeteria Brewster is a reporter covering Marion and Williamson County.

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