Asheville Museum of Science (AMOS) has received a $100,000 Duke Energy grant to continue its commitment to educate and engage the public through interactive STEM experiences.
This grant will be used to construct a French Broad River water table exhibit. The river exhibit will serve as a hands-on educational tool to enhance the public’s understanding of the importance associated with a healthy French Broad River waterway.
The grant is part of the Water Resources Fund, a $10 million, multi-year commitment from Duke Energy that will leave a legacy of improved water quality, quantity and conservation in the Carolinas and neighboring regions.
“The museum’s goal is to spark curiosity and foster a deep appreciation for the sciences and the natural beauty of western North Carolina. Environmental stewardship starts with education. AMOS’ French Broad River exhibit will offer a one of a kind interactive learning experience to the public,” said Anna Priest, Executive Director, Asheville Museum of Science. “We thank Duke Energy for its support and are eager to launch this project allowing visitors to learn about the importance of this waterway, in the WNC ecosystem.”
The river exhibit will consist of a flowing water table, sculpted to resemble attributes along the French Broad such as mountains, headwaters, tributaries, rapids, eddies, urban impermeable surfaces, farmland, and flood plains. Visitors can manipulate the river by adding rocks, increasing water flow; and exploring how turbines and adjacent land uses effect runoff. Interactive panels adjacent to the exhibit will illustrate healthy indicators of land and water ecosystems: macroinvertebrates, temperature, and river substrates, turbidity and velocity. Museum educators will provide hands-on activities at the exhibit and in the STEM Laboratory that explore the topics of pollution and erosion using smaller models.
“The exhibit supported by this grant will be an exciting new addition to what AMOS offers students and the public,” said Jason A. Walls, Duke Energy’s local government and community relations manager for the Asheville area. “I am thrilled that Duke Energy is investing in local and regional efforts to showcase the value of water resources.”
This exhibit will supplement the thousands of visitors and students to AMOS to better investigate water supply, water quality, fluid dynamics, and conservation. The long-term health of the French Broad River Basin and related watersheds are a state and local priority. AMOS is poised to complement regional conservation efforts through education that builds awareness of issues.
“Duke Energy is dedicated to protecting and restoring the rivers and waterways that power our regional economies,” said Cari Boyce, president of the Duke Energy Foundation. “We look forward to our partnership with the Asheville Museum of Science and the impact this project will have in Western North Carolina.”
Investment decisions are carefully reviewed by the Water Resources Fund committee, an independent body that includes five environmental experts and two Duke Energy employees. Selected projects are chosen on several criteria, including whether the project is science-based and research-supported.
Duke Energy anticipates two grant announcements per year over the course of the Water Resources Fund. Visit nccommunityfoundation.org for more information on how to apply and register for the session.