'Depth' exhibit showcases future of water at Michigan Science Center

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Last minute preparations are underway at Science Gallery Detroit inside the Michigan Science Center - where art and science collide.

"It's called depth and the idea we're wrestling with is the future of water," said Jeff Grabill, the director of Science Gallery Detroit and MSU provost.

The only science gallery in the Americas is here in Detroit and it's a function of Michigan State University.  Which is why Science Gallery Detroit really encourages young people 15 to 25 years old to tackle serious problems through art and science. 

"To get really excited about solving the world's biggest problems and engaging in the world's biggest challenges," he said.

Which brings us to water, specifically depth, especially important here given water shutoffs in Detroit and the water crisis in Flint.

"We're privileged in Michigan - we sit on or near something like 20 percent of the planet's fresh water supply - yet we've managed to poison our own citizens," he said.

Now through 23 installations, guests will learn and be surprised - by works like hidden water. and how much water goes in to your favorite things.

"One smartphone microchip is 4,200 gallons of water," said Grabill said.

Or enough to fill a swimming pool. Then there is Maris Polanco's installation - Eternal - a giant jellyfish made out of a thousands of plastic bags highlighting the many sea animals dying from ingesting plastic.

"That's why I call this piece eternal, because plastic doesn't really go away," said Polanco. "It just breaks down smaller and smaller."

It ends up in our food supply - and in us. Guests can also listen to poems by school children flowing through a mile of copper piping - just turn on the faucets to listen.

"What is water for us - and how should we take care of it," said Jan Tichy, Beyond Streaming.

There's so much to learn and to think about. Not just water and the environment, but social issues - and visitors get to experience it for free.

"Not only do we want people to come to depth, but we want them to engage with the Michigan Science Center because it's a fantastic institution," said Grabill.

The institution is bracing for big crowds starting Saturday, June 8.

"We're expecting a huge, busy summer for this incredible exhibition," said John Anderson, interim CEO of the science center.

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