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The USGS Visitors Center at the National Center in Reston, Virginia

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Visiting USGS in Reston - The Hands-On Room

The hands-on room in the Visitors Center is used to teach about the activities of the USGS and the natural sciences by encouraging visitors to touch, explore, and wonder over materials and instruments, as well as to perform simple experiments that demonstrate some of the work of the USGS.

students learn about amphibians

Students enjoy learning all about amphibians and how we can help make the earth a healthier place to live. Here students get up close and personal with salamanders!

microscope station

Fossils are interesting to study. The USGS doesn't have enough to let everyone take them home, but visitors can make rubbings of them to keep.

scribing table

Computers have changed the way map making use to be for cartographers. The art of scribing (etching onto coated plastic) practically is obsolete today. Here students try their hand at the "old" way of making maps and learn about the types of skills cartographers needed to do their jobs.

current meter demonstration Streamgaging provides the Nation with streamflow information to help protect life and property and manage our water resources. Young students learn about streamgaging by taking actual measurements in a simulated water flume. The USGS maintains approximately 7,300 streamgages throughout the United States. Streamflow data from these streamgages are used for planning and decisions related to agriculture, industry, water supplies, navigation, riverine and riparian habitat, and flood hazard identification.

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Page Last Modified: Friday, October 02, 2009