Your city, your water 

Student exhibit raises awareness about global water issues.

April 13, 2009

CPS students had a special exhibit on display last month at the Field Museum that coincided with World Water Day.


Since the goal of the day was to raise awareness about global water issues, the Field Museum called in a few experts: CPS students. The students unveiled an exhibit that illuminated Chicago's special relationship with water, and compared the city’s water situation with rest of the world.


The exhibit, Chicago: Your City, Your Water, was developed, designed and built by students from Multicultural Arts and Whitney Young. The exhibit, made from all recycled material, showcased museum artifacts, invasive species, and connected Chicago’s current lakefront to the legacy of famed Chicago Architect Daniel Burnham. Students had a variety of works on display, including:


  • A scale model of the exhibition.
  • An exact replica of Burnham's 1909 plan of Chicago.
  • An interactive viewfinder activity where visitors could take a photographic journey of the Chicago lakefront through time.
  • Fish models. Visitors could see exact replicas of carp and burbot.
  • Real wet specimen of drum, walleye and goldfish in an interactive display that asked visitors to guess which of the three was the native species.
  • An artistic "rain wall" with facts and tips about water saving.
  • A student-filmed video of Chicagoans discussing water issues in Chicago.
  • Student artwork-watercolors with water-related themes.


The project was designed to teach visitor’s about Chicago's relationship with water from both a historical and ecological point of view.


The exhibit was part of the district-wide High School Off-Campus Museology Program. Each week, CPS students meet at local museums one-half day, during regular school hours, throughout the school year. Participating museums include: The Art Institute of Chicago, Beverly Arts Center, The Field Museum of Natural History, and the John G. Shedd Aquarium.


Learn more about the Off-Campus Museology Program.