Current Exhibits

When the Earth Shakes - FeaturedWhen the Earth Shakes

Sept. 17, 2016 through Jan. 2, 2017

Learn all about the science of earthquakes, tsunamis and tectonic plates through When the Earth Shakes, an immersive interactive exhibit exploring the world below our feet. Watch how 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, and see where earthquakes happen all around the world on the seismic monitor that shows them in real time.

Museum-goers will see fast-paced videos of engineers working to make our world safer as they use amazing tools and technology to test and improve building techniques and materials. In the “Puzzled Earth” display, visitors can see how quickly they can assemble a map of giant tectonic plates before the clock runs out and all the pieces fall. On the “Shake Table” platform, they can test their engineering skills by using blocks and reinforcing rods to design and build a model of an earthquake-safe building. Guests also can explore the science behind tsunami waves with the 16-foot-long “Tsunami Tank” by building a structure to withstand large, crashing waves. Visitors can spin the dial, replay the impact in slow-motion, then improve the design.

When the Earth Shakes is 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. The exhibition was developed by Sciencenter in Ithaca, New York, with funding from the National Science Foundation and NEES.