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    • Watershed Tour

    • Relief Map of the New York City Water Supply System, tour and workshop (all ages)

      In 1939, the Works Progress Administration created a magnificent scale model of a relief map of the New York City Watershed, measuring almost 700 square feet and weighing 10,000 pounds, now on display at the Queens Museum. Tours and art activities look at this unique model as students learn about the journey of the City’s water supply system, sustainability, and the water cycle. Students also consider the social relevance of the watershed today by exploring its history and construction. To strengthen their understanding of the connection between the upstate and downstate locations, students also visit the large scale model of the five boroughs of NYC, the Panorama of the City of New York.

      Illustrating Understanding, tour and workshop (Pre-K-Grade 2)

      Students trace the steps of the water cycle and the path of the water from upstate to downstate to its destination in New York City through writing and movement within the Watershed gallery. Additionally, Students visit the Panorama of the City of New York to view and discuss the impact and importance of the water supply on the citizens of the city. Students look for aesthetic clues in the Panorama and Watershed models to understand how urban, suburban, and rural geographic areas are represented in these models.

      Intentional connections: science and literacy

      Water Cycle, tour and workshop (Grades 2-12)

      Through discussion, students will understand the relevance of the full water cycle from raincloud to faucet, reflecting on personal impact. Using the gallery tour and writing activity as inspiration, students will work in teams with collage and drawing materials to create work representing the water cycle and human impact.

      Intentional connections: science and literacy

      Sustainable Earth

      After the Watershed tour and a discussion related to sustainability and human impact on water quality, students use materials that would generally be recycled to create three-dimensional, free-standing structures. This workshop encourages students to contextualize themselves in the broader world while creating architectural forms through creative problem solving.

      Intentional connections: science and literacy

      Landscape Resists

      Using oil pastels, students recreate the portion of the watershed model that was most interesting to them. They then use watercolor paints to fill in the landscapes with color. To develop an understanding of the differences between the media, a discussion will encourage students to note how the watercolor paint resisted the paper wherever they used the oil pastels.

      Intentional connections: science and literacy

      Color in Water

      Students use dyes in the primary color palette to create secondary and tertiary colors through adding the dyes together. They then use those newly created dyes to stain paper, creating hand-painted paper. These papers can be taken back to the classroom for further activities, such as writing, collage making, or quilt making.

      Intentional connections: science and literacy

      Water as a Precious Resource Art and Poetry Contest (Grades 2-12)

      The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), guardian of the watershed, invites students in Grades 2-12 to participate in its annual Art and Poetry Contest, focused around four themes: water as a precious resource, the New York City Water Supply System, the New York City Wastewater Treatment System, and water stewardship. Students from schools that wish to participate create artwork around these themes in the Museums’ studio following a tour of the watershed. This contest is open to all artistic media, and workshop choices include watercolors, oil pastel, and collage. In order to ensure that artistic submissions follow DEP guidelines and represent the students’ best work, the Museum Education Department offers guidance to participating schools.

    • Queens Museum
      New York City Building
      Flushing Meadows Corona Park
      Queens, NY 11368
    • T 718 592 9700
      F 718 592 5778