On July 6, Toronto District Day Campers (and TD Summer Reading Club participants) had the chance to tour the ROM's "Water: The Exhibition".
Water = Life. The tour started with a chance for everyone to weigh themselves and consider what percentage of their body's weight is made up of water.
They had their very own rolling cart of tactile wonders! This cart accompanied the group and the Gallery Facilitator (Beverly) used it to provide hands-on examples of many water-related topics.
During this interactive tour, everyone got a chance to put their hands on a polar bear's skull…
A piece of cooled lava…
And a shark's jawbone and teeth.
From cattails which grow in marshes to the slap of a beaver's tail signaling danger, everything the kids touched seemed to depend on or somehow relate to water. Kids loved trying out a playground roundabout similar to what is being used in South Africa to solve water supply problems in rural villages. Other moments for quiet reflection included holding the fingernail-sized (tiny but dangerous) zebra mussel in the palm of their hand and taking turns trying to lift a jug containing the amount of water that kids in some parts of the world must collect and carry for the use of their family.
Some parts of the exhibit were tactile even without the objects from the cart! Here Johanna Contreras, Access Program Manager at the ROM, explains to Emma how water has the power to sculpt rock.
The exhibit which illustrated water as a liquid, solid and gas (running water, ice and mist) was very popular on this hot summer day!
And of course, the live animals that are part of "Water: The Exhibition" were also a hit. Here a few of the boys are checking out amphibians with an ear-catching name: Bird poop frogs!
An exciting, fun and educational time was had by all. Many thanks to the ROM for providing this opportunity. Find out more about the ROM's Tactile Tours and Museum Interactives by visiting the Accessibility section of the ROM's website.
The tactile booklet for "Water: The Exhibition" (which contains large print, uncontracted braille, large colour photos and tactile graphics) is available through the CNIB Library: BI00853. Here's a final picture of Dylan exploring the book.