“Teach the Teacher” Training – Part 3: Spring Mound and Flash Flood Exhibits


The Origen museum features
more than 75 permanent exhibits for your students to explore. As you pass back through the rotunda,
you’ll come to a gallery that features the exciting
natural history of Nevada. Again, your students will learn
how water played a critical role in our history and see a replica of a spring mound
that really exists on our walking trails. Ask your students to look for
items on the spring mound. They are likely to discover animals, plants,
pottery, arrowheads, and other artifacts. This spring mound contains Las Vegas history,
spanning 5,000 years. To the right of the spring mound
are interactive exhibits that focus on the geology of the region. This section is geared towards older students,
so you may want to keep younger students walking to the left of the museum
to the next fun feature. You’ve entered a very popular
section of Origen. This is where our Flash Flood Exhibit
demonstrates the power of water in the desert. In here, students will learn the impact
and potential disasters of a real flash flood. Don’t worry, this simulated
flash flood is just for show but anyone standing close to the railing
may get wet by the rapid gush of water. There’s a five-minute period between shows when the water is pumped up
to start the show again. Remind everyone to keep their hands
behind the railing and don’t climb or lean forward. If you drop items, such as cameras,
sunglasses or phones, they may not be recovered. You may also want to warn smaller children about the simulated thunder and lightning,
which could be startling. Follow the directional signage
to avoid a traffic jam and be mindful of other groups
waiting to see the Flash Flood Exhibit. A clock lets you know
when the next show begins. If you have to wait,
show your students the Nocturnal Animal Exhibit just outside the Flash Flood Exhibit. These animals are most likely sleeping,
but you can tell your students what venomous animals live here:
black widow spider, desert recluse, bark scorpion, desert night snake,
and a banded centipede. Please have a responsible adult to
open the box lid with the scorpion to allow students room to see
this exciting feature and prevent sudden drops. Remind your students not to tap on the glass
that may scare the animals. Because this section of the museum
is so popular, be sure to set clear boundaries
with your students while they explore the exhibits. We’d like to highlight
one more feature in this area. Remember the spring mound? There is a little theater that plays a short movie
about the archaeology of the spring mound. The theater comfortably
holds an entire class.

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