Austin, TX – Over 20,000 Texans in Central Texas and across the Colorado River basin have now learned about protecting and preserving their water resources well into the future, thanks to the Colorado River Alliance’s Mobile River program.
The Texas Colorado River Rolling Exhibit, a.k.a. the Mobile River, brings a water-science-center-on-wheels and classroom curriculum directly to the schools of 7th graders in the Texas Colorado River basin. Launched in 2015 in partnership with the Austin Independent School District (AISD) and Austin Water, the Mobile River program features interactive models and fun, educational video games inside a 42-foot trailer.
“From the outset, we created the Mobile River program collaboratively,” said R. Brent Lyles, Executive Director of the Colorado River Alliance. “Working with Austin Water and AISD has helped us serve every middle school in AISD. We’re not just teaching 7th graders about water science and river stewardship, we’re also opening their eyes to future careers in water and wastewater engineering and management.”
In the weeks before a Mobile River visit, students build their core water-science knowledge with four customized classroom lesson plans about water conservation, Texas ecoregions and weathering, watershed precipitation and runoff, and watershed pollution. The Colorado River Alliance then follows up these in-school portions of the program with a visit from the Mobile River itself.
“It is critically important for Austin’s children, our future leaders, to understand the value of water and the Colorado River,” Austin Water Director, Greg Meszaros, said. “The Mobile River teaches these concepts and has fun doing it. We are proud to partner on such a successful and impactful program.”
The exhibit frequently appears at large community events and water-related sites, both in Austin and elsewhere across the Texas Colorado River’s watershed. The Mobile River will appear at LakeFest in Marble Falls, Aug. 11-13, and it will be open to the public at Barton Springs Pool, Aug. 15-16.
About the Colorado River Alliance
The Colorado River Alliance is an independent nonprofit organization that champions the long-term vitality of the Texas Colorado River. With education and engagement programs that touch 12,000 students and community members annually, the Colorado River Alliance supports the people, ecosystems, communities, and businesses that depend on this irreplaceable natural resource. www.coloradoriver.org
The Mobile River program has been supported by a number of important funders, including 3M, AISD, the Applied Materials Foundation, Atkins, Austin Water, CH2M, Forestar, Impact Austin, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Lower Colorado River Authority, Samsung, the Reese Foundation, the Shield-Ayres Foundation, the Texas Pioneer Foundation, and the Texas Water Development Board.