Mcallen international museum’s “water celebration” to visit san Benito ISD February 29th through march 9th 

The McAllen International Museum traveling exhibitions, “Museum On Wheels,” will be rolling into Berta Cabaza Middle School (2901 Shafer Road) on February 29th. 

The Museum’s “Water Celebration” is an interactive exhibition where students and adults of all ages explore a variety of stations to learn about water and natural resources conservation. The exhibition consists of three components: “The River Lab,” “Who Cares About the Weather,” and “Kid Rio City.” In recognition of the importance of this exhibit, San Benito ISD has designated Tuesday, February 29th as “Family Night.” Parents and the general public are invited to attend this remarkable exhibition from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm. There is no charge for admission.

Groups of 125 students at a time visit the exhibit site at Berta Cabaza Middle School gym for a period of 80 minutes each. There will be a brief 10 minute introduction that describes the activities in the exhibit and some of the objectives and goals for the students. After this presentation, the students will visit the exhibit and learn about different types of weather conditions: storms, hurricanes, tornadoes, wind velocity, static electricity and more. Students will be allowed to be creative with recycled materials as they build a mini-city in Kid Rio City. At The River Lab station, students will use real microscopes to view microorganisms and learn about different habitats found in the Rio Grande region of Texas. 

The “Water Celebration” at San Benito ISD is part of the McAllen International Museum’s program The River Runs Through Us, a major project to raise the public’s awareness about our water resources in the Valley. The exhibits are supported by the Meadows Foundation, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and McAllen Public Utilities. The Water Celebration includes the following components:

Who Cares About the Weather?

This is an interdisciplinary, hands-on exhibit about varied aspects of weather including art, communication, careers, literature and science.

Children role play as the weather anchor on MIM T.V., as they see themselves in weather-related literature. They experience the static electricity of lightning and make the sounds of thunder and rain. They create pictures of weather experiences in words, shapes and colors. They make weather happen, including rain, floods and rainbows. There are several stations in this exhibit:

• Meteorology office: Visitors track past hurricanes on a pegboard tracking chart and explore other weather measuring instruments: rain gauge, anemometer, thermometer, barometer and weather radio.

• MIM-TV: Students role-play the job of weather forecaster with a weather map as they put together an imaginary weather broadcast using a real video camera and monitor.

• Storm Center: Using a generator, children observe the static charge that models lightning, make thunder in a resonance chamber and form a rainbow using light and a big "raindrop" (a water prism). 

• Water Cycle: At this activity station students use hand pumps and a tank to cycle a limited supply of water through a model community. The system simulates rain, run-off through underground channels and a miniature lake as well as evaporation.

• Windy Day Movers: Using simple materials children construct their own small devices which operate on the movement of air from flags to a simple anemometer-like structure.

• Weather Art & Sounds:

Draw the Weather -While listening to weather sounds or weather-inspired music, students paint their impressions in pictures.

Cloudy Imagination Station - Children find pictures in photos of clouds and trace the designs and objects they see using color markers.

Colors of Weather - Using color chips students identify colors used in famous paintings and identify various weather conditions.

• Careers & Weather: Using mirrors, young people see their own faces reflected in several paintings showing workers whose jobs are particularly affected by weather. They read simple job information which is in mirror writing.

Kid Rio City

This exhibit involves students in creative recycled art at the same time that they develop a city and its utilities along the banks of the a river. It lets students explore their environment to answer such questions as “Why do  people live near rivers?” and “What do we need in a city?”

The River Lab

This unique set of exhibitions encourages students to:

• explore the river as a system with parts including water, land, plants, and animals 

• manipulate a water cycle and learn about the parts of this natural world cycle and the concept that change occurs within the water cycle (water, vapor, ice)

• use microscopes to observe microscopic water life within the river ecosystem

• identify characteristics of native living organisms in an aquarium and on two murals

• observe and discuss why living organisms need food, water, light and air

 • recognize different plant parts

For further information about this exciting exhibition at Berta Cabaza Middle School, or to ask about bringing “Museum On Wheels” to your school, call the Outreach Department of McAllen International Museum at (956) 682-1564, ext. 108.

[Photo: Students in Roma visit the “Who Cares About the Weather” station, part of the “Museum On Wheels” program of The McAllen International Museum.]

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