PITTSBURGH, Feb. 20, 2015 ― Pittsburgh's freshwater rivers are so ubiquitously integrated with the cityscape that it's easy to forget what a precious resource they are and have been historically.  With the spectacular view of the dramatic confluence of Pittsburgh's three rivers as the exhibit backdrop, Carnegie Science Center will open its newest permanent gallery, “H2Oh!: Why Our Rivers Matter” on Feb. 28.

With a mix of interactive exhibits, live animals, and lots of real waterplay, the H2Oh! gallery encourages visitors of all ages to have a newfound appreciation for our waterways and an understanding of why we all need to conserve water. With growing populations and the increasing pressures of development, the world is facing a critical water shortage.

The immersive exhibit strives to answer the following questions for visitors:

  • Where do our rivers come from and where are they going?
  • What lives in these waters, nests in these banks, and grows on these shores?
  • What impact does my community have on the river? What impact does my family have? What impact do I have – personally, (and, for the next generation of Pittsburghers), through my choices?

Through hands-on activities, guests will have the opportunity to learn all about water science and why our rivers matter as they explore topics of: the environment and conservation, fluid dynamics, and a field station.

Activities include:

  • Real-Time Data Monitoring – Real-time data from river monitoring systems show the temperature, pH, and water levels of local rivers.
  • Rooftop Infrared Camera – Rooftop infrared cameras capture river surface temperatures as well as temperatures of downtown buildings.
  • Frozen Raindrop – "Freeze" water in high-definition video and study the movement.
  • Virtual Watershed – Create virtual hills and valleys with sand, make it “rain,” and then observe the behavior of the virtual streams, lakes, and pools that are created.
  • WTAE Weather Station – Step into the spotlight and see yourself on "television" as you report the weather like a television meteorologist!
  • Water Table – Carefully load a barge to keep it afloat, turn a crank to make rain trickle from “clouds,” and build locks and dams.
  • Field Station – See live animals who call this region their home, such as fish, turtles, snakes, and frogs.

This exhibit is presented by The Colcom Foundation and generously supported by: The Fisher Fund of The Pittsburgh Foundation, Laurel Foundation, Dollar Bank, and Peoples.

For more information, visit CarnegieScienceCenter.org.