Title Banner H20 Today


A new exhibition from the Smithsonian, H2O Today invites visitors to explore the beauty and essential nature of water, our planet’s lifeblood. Through immersive content, interactives, and digital media, the exhibition explores the diversity and challenges of our global water sources and promotes conversation, creativity, and innovation across disciplines.

H2O Today is a fully designed build-it-yourself exhibition that offers venues a unique opportunity to showcase content that resonates with local audiences. The exhibition can stand alone, or we can help you enrich it with content, expertise, and programming that will enlighten and energize your community around critical water issues. Themes of the exhibition are centered around the concepts of:

  • The Water Planet
  • Our Water, Our Home
  • Ripple Effects
  • Rising Tides
  • H2O Today, H2O Tomorrow

Portions of H2O Today were adapted from exhibitions organized by the American Museum of Natural History, New York; and the Science Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul, in collaboration with Great Lakes Science Center, Cleveland; The Field Museum, Chicago; Instituto Sangari, Brazil; National Museum of Australia; Royal Ontario Museum, Canada; San Diego Natural History Museum; and Science Centre Singapore with PUB Singapore.

Participating venues will have access to a full spectrum of educational and programming resources in partnership with State Humanities Councils nationwide. Venues will also have opportunities to engage with Smithsonian curators, scientists, and researchers, who are available to participate in programs and discussions about current water issues.

Exhibition specifications

We invite you to host this unique and affordable new exhibition. Featuring over 30 fully designed graphic panels, interactives, and multimedia components, H2O Today weaves together the science of water with cross-disciplinary approaches to U.S. and global water challenges and complements the Museum on Main Street exhibition Water/Ways, for rural communities.

Both exhibitions encourage venues to incorporate local stories through community engagement and crowdsourcing. The H2O Today exhibition package includes print-ready graphic files, immersive audio/video content, software and detailed design drawings for interactives, as well as access to a full spectrum of educational and programming resources.

>>Download exhibition prospectus


Contents Fully designed, ready-to-print graphic panels with images and text;
Detailed design drawings to build physical structure, wall hung panels, and hands-on interactives;
Fully designed, customizable templates ready for venues to supplement their own content ;
Three exhibition video and audio stations with a selection of stories, music, and images Software for two digital interactives;
Detailed design drawings to build three hands-on interactives;
Detailed exhibition floor plans

Participation Fee $7,000 for two-year licensing period
Size 2,000 square feet, est.
Category Science, History & Culture
Security Limited
SITES Contacts Minnie Russell, 202.633.3160 (scheduling)
Sara Artes, 202.633.3113 (content)
Tour Begins Files now available for download



Tour itinerary

Opening Closing Host Institution Status
August 13, 2016 - November 11, 2016 Western Science Center, Hemet, CA Booked
September 2 - November 27, 2016 Elliot Museum, Stuart, FL Booked
TBD Jack K. Williams Library, Texas A & M University at Galveston Booked
TBD Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science, Miami, FL Booked
TBD Tamastslikt Cultural Institute, Pendleton, OR Reserved
TBD Museum of Natural and Cultural History, University of Oregon, Eugene Reserved
September 2, 2017 - May 20, 2018 Greeley History Museum, Greeley, CO Reserved


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Related publications

Smithsonian Ocean Portal
Images, science articles, and more Smithsonian's Marine Collections A behind-the-scenes look at the NMNH ocean-related collections and their importance to research and discovery.

Smithsonian Ocean Portal: Educator Resources
Our Ocean Portal Educators’ Corner provides you with activities, lessons and educational resources to bring the ocean to life for your students.

Smithsonian Water Matters Program for Teachers

Science and Symbol: How Water Has Shaped America
Video content: 43:23 minutes, produced by Smithsonian Education. From Niagara Falls and the Hudson River to the great Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, bodies of water have played a significant role in American history, industry, society, and ecology.

The Dead Zone: Hypoxia in Marine Systems
Video content: 53:53 minutes. Explore how oxygen, also called hypoxia, has become a major threat in coastal ecosystems. Examine the diversity of plants and animals present in coastal ecosystems, what organisms are able to survive these extreme conditions and what the lack of oxygen is doing to the typical relationships between predators and their prey.

Smithsonian Education Badge Quest: Enviro-Scientists
To earn this badge, you will determine sources of pollution, both source and non-source pollution, in your nearby streams, lakes, and rivers. You will use this information for context as you gather data from a sample of water from your community and understand more information about its water quality, through determining its pH.

Water-Based Lessons from SeaGrant, Alaska
Grades K-8 Covering everything from what creatures live in the water to interconnected ecosystems to climate patterns.

Water Cycle Lessons from NOAA
Though it seems simple, the paths and influences of water through Earth’s ecosystems are extremely complex and are not completely understood. In fact, the water cycle is one of 6 Grand Science Challenges identified in NOAA’s 20 year plan.

Experiments with Water from NOAA
Explore an ocean's-worth of information related to our efforts to protect and restore the nation's waters from pollution. You'll find experiments and activities for elementary school students and life-long learners alike.

Watersheds, Pollution, and Flooding from NOAA
Learning about the water in the watersheds can help develop respect, understanding, and appreciation for the symbiotic relationship that we have with watersheds. Some resources in this collection encourage educators to get students outside. 

Endangered Species Oragami from NOAA
Activity and fun facts print outs.

Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
Public programs and eduational curricula materials for grades K-12. Learn about ecology, estuaries, citizen sciences, and more.

Smithsonian Science
Blog and Videos Explore diverse topics about water, pollution, ecology, environmental research, species research, and more.

>> Many more conference-style videos appear on the Smithsonian's Education YouTube channel.

Press release

None listed at this time. Please check back again.

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» Exhibit Specifications

» Tour Itinerary

» Exhibit Prospectus

» Educational Resources

» Water/Ways Exhibition by Museum on Main St



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