Quake Watch

Part of Exhibition: Living on a Restless Planet



of an Exhibit

by Patricia Guerrero knight

Published on March 19, 2010

  • Description:

    It’s always interesting as a museum professional, to accompany my children on their field trips to various local museums and science centers. This particular field trip took me, along with my daughter Catherine and about 300 other 2nd graders to The Tech Museum of Innovation in Down Town San Jose.

    I found that while clearly some of the exhibits and galleries were a bit over their heads and wouldn’t hold their interest, the whole bottom floor – especially the Living on a Restless Planet gallery which featured the Quake Watch platform really blew their mind. With all the recent attention on earthquakes in Haiti and Chile, as well as a few mediumy ones we’ve had here in California the last year or so, the Tech’s quake platform was a relatively safe place to experience an earthquake without the hazards of living through a real one.

    Catie, of course, screamed as the earthquake started with a HUGE jolt, which even took me by surprise! I sort of thought it would start out slow and ease into the shaking, but what the Tech has done is replicate the experience of actual earthquakes that have taken place around the world in the last decades.

    If you pay attention, there is an electronic sign that not only flashes a countdown warning to the quake (great to have when you are with younger children!), but the location and year of the quake being simulated. In our case, the one (from my picture) we experienced, had occured in India.

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