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Interactive Earthquake Exhibit Opening at Children’s Museum in West Hartford

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‘When the Earth Shakes’ will open on Dec. 12 at the Children’s Museum in West Hartford.


The Children’s Museum invites the community to the opening of a new exhibition “When the Earth Shakes.” The exhibit will open on Saturday, Dec. 12, and kicks off a winter-into-spring long exploration where both children and adults can delve into the science of earthquakes, tectonic plates, and tsunamis, and find out what earthquake engineers are doing to make our world safer.

Immerse yourself in interactive earthquake exhibits. Jump up and down on a platform, changing how hard you jump, and match the seismogram from an historic earthquake! Watch how the continents move and re-form as you spin the dial through geologic history, from 600 million years ago all the way to 200 million years in the future! See where earthquakes happen all around the world on the Seismic Monitor that shows them in real time; you can see the many hundreds that occur every week and how strong they were. Maybe there was one in your area, too.

See the fast-paced videos of engineers working to make our world safer by using amazing tools and technology to test and improve building techniques and materials. In Puzzled Earth, how quickly can you assemble the map of giant tectonic plates? Hurry, you have 2 minutes before the pieces fall! Test your engineering skills as you design and build your own model of an earthquake-safe building out of blocks and reinforcing rods on the Shake Table platform; then start the quake and see if your structure holds up. Turn the dial to make it shake faster or slower. Can you improve your design and make your building safer?

Explore the science of tsunami waves. Build a structure, and then make waves crash on a “beach” in the 16-foot-long Tsunami Tank. Did your structure hold up? Spin the dial, replay the impact in slow motion, then improve your design. Can it withstand more powerful waves? Find out what happens when you add a seawall.

When the Earth Shakes was sponsored by NEES, the National Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation, a group of 14 university research facilities where engineers and scientists have tested buildings and structures with giant shake tables, centrifuges, a tsunami wave basin, and other large-scale equipment.

Bring your family to The Children’s Museum, and experience the science of earthquakes and earthquake engineering. This exhibition was developed by Sciencenter in Ithaca, NY, with funding from the National Science Foundation and NEES, the National Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation.

The Children’s Museum is part of The Children’s Museum Group, a registered 501(c)(3). Their mission is to provoke life-long experiential learning and innovation among children, adults, and their communities.

The museum is open Friday through Sunday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Timed tickets and ticket information are listed on the website, www.thechildrensmuseumct.org. Memberships are available.

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