American Museum of Natural History Exhibit on Water and Additional Resources

Did you know that only 3 percent of the water on Earth is fresh water? You can learn more about water from the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) exhibit Water: H2O=Life. The exhibit will travel the globe, appearing at locations worldwide until 2011.

For those who can’t see the exhibit in person, AMNH has created free online resources, including background information, activities and multimedia presentations. In the Museum’s Ology site, a fun and engaging web site for children, you will find a section associated with the exhibit and devoted to the study of water.

Younger children can put together the sequence puzzles related to polar bears, ice, and Inuit fishing via a downloadable version or an online, interactive version that provides additional audio narrative information. Older children can use the Ask-a-Scientist service to enter or read questions answered by AMNH museum staff. For example, read the response to a question about the ice caps melting. Also, in this section of the Ology site, there are water experiments, a water conservation survey, and a game relating to life at the bottom of the ocean.


American Museum of Natural History Online Resources

Water: H2O=Life Exhibit
An online, interactive companion to the touring museum exhibit.

AMNH Ology: Water
A multimedia, interactive web site designed for children.

In addition to the resources provided by AMNH, there are a number of online materials and activities perfect for informal learning or at-home discovery. We’ve highlighted a few resources here that allow children to learn more about various forms of water, ice, and snow.

Informal and At-Home Online Resources

Glacier National Park: Glacier Cam Widget
A widget (in computer terms) is a software tool that users can download on their computer or may be already available on their desktop. The widget allows the user to interface with some type of current information, such as the weather. Glacier National Park in Montana has a widget that allows you to view the park’s web cams on demand. The park’s web site also has information on the glaciers in the park.

Kids can sign up to be a web ranger through the National Park Service web site, where they can also find activities, games, and information about our national parks.

Making Ice Cream: Countertop Chemistry
This ice cream “lab” is from The Science House, an outreach education program at North Carolina State University. While making ice cream from scratch, you can learn why sodium chloride is used to lower the freezing point of water.

Zoom: PBS: Ice Experiment
This is an experiment investigating materials that will keep an ice cube from melting. You can share your results with others through the ZoomSci sharing tool.

EPA Water Sourcebooks
The Environmental Protection Agency has developed a large body of activities related to drinking water, wastewater treatment and water resources for all grade levels.


This article was written by Robert Payo. For more information, see the Contributors page. Email Robert at beyondpenguins@msteacher.org.

Copyright August 2008 – The Ohio State University. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0733024. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. This work is licensed under an Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons license.

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