When 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.
Mystery of the Mayan Medallion
Oct. 15, 2016 through Jan. 8, 2017 In this immersive exhibit, visitors are transported to Palenque, Mexico, where an archaeological team has mysteriously disappeared from a dig site while investigating rumors of a priceless jade medallion. They will follow the clues the team left behind to locate the precious medallion while avoiding the dangers lurking in the ruins. The exhibit includes archaeology, biology and astro-mathematic field stations, an observatory and a tomb area that yield clues to the medallion’s whereabouts. At these field stations and assorted sites, visitors must translate glyphs, discover which rainforest animals are poisonous, learn how the Maya recorded dates, take rubbings from a sarcophagus and interpret a battle mural to solve the mystery. Kids will love the hands-on components of this exhibit, but any museum visitor is likely to learn a great deal from it and possibly ignite a greater curiosity for archaeology and history. The Arkansas Discovery Network, a group of seven museums and educational centers that focuses on creating interactive museum experiences, developed the traveling exhibit in 2006.