Miami and Bogotá.
Many environments, the same resource: WATER.

Through SCEnaRioS (Science Centers Engagement and the Rio Summit), youth from the Miami Science Museum and Maloka Interactive Centre in Bogotá learned about water resources and investigated the effects of climate change on Florida and Colombia. Although both science centers are at low latitudes, their geophysical differences are striking, with coastal Miami near sea level, and mountainous Bogotá at an altitude of more than 2,6o0 meters. This stark contrast sparked lively exchanges of information between youth at both organizations. They discovered contrasts as well as similarities between their environments as related to water issues and climate change. Some of the themes that they investigated include:

• Effects of increased temperatures and decreased pH on coral reefs
• Sea level rise and its effect on human and natural environments
• The natural flow of water through south Florida and Colombia
• The effects of human activities on water resources
• Changing precipitation patterns leading to both floods and droughts
• Glacial retreat and its impact on the water supply

Teams of youth from both sites met online, through videoconferences and in virtual worlds. They met with content experts, collaborated with each other, and developed multimedia resources, including videos and 3D simulations, to communicate their perspective on the issues, concerns, and questions raised by climate change and its impact on local water sources.


The collaborative effort between the Miami Science Museum and Maloka Interactive Center can be seen in this video, prepared for presentation at the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in June 2012. The video follows the project from the first time the youth met via a virtual world, to videoconferences in which they shared their progress and what they learned, to the final thoughts and questions they have for scientists and policy makers regarding our water resources.

Scenarios in Virtual Worlds

Through the Digital WAVE project, funded by the National Science Foundation’s ITEST program, youth at the Miami Science Museum used cutting edge technology to create virtual world projects on south Florida pathways. Taking what they learned about climate change and water resources from field trips and meetings with climate scientists, they built 3D virtual exhibits illustrating regions of south Florida, including the Kissimmee River, Lake Okeechobee, The Everglades, and urban environments.

Scenarios and the Club de Divulgadores

Members of the Science Communication Club (Club de Divulgadores de Ciencia y Tecnología) at Maloka concentrated on the Tunjuelo River watershed in Colombia, one of the most important sources of water for Bogotá. Through first-hand experiences in the environments surrounding the city, they learned about the flow of water through the region, from the high Andes to the city center, saw how humans are affecting this resource, and practiced communicating what they learned to the public.

Planet Under Pressure

In March, students from Maloka and Miami Science Museum were able to share their thoughts and concerns about water and climate issues in their respective environments with scientists at the 2012 Planet Under Pressure Conference in London. Staff and students from both sites worked together to create a video that was shown at the conference.

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