To start the new year with a bang, on January 5, the educational board of the Museum of Natural Sciences in Brussels organised a workshop for children from 8-12 years old, titled “When the Earth Shakes”... In order to secure our next generation of geologists, or even earthquake/tsunami scientists, the kids were immersed in the world of megathrust faults, seismicity, tsunami waves and their destructive consequences. This interactive day of seismic exploration covered the theoretical basics, but also tons of fun examples and activities. Not only were the children invited to design earthquake-proof buildings and use a handcoring device in the museum's garden, they could generate mini-tsunamis in a wavetank too, only to be topped off by the construction of their own seismometers… from scratch!
In the afternoon, they visited the Geological Survey of Belgium, where Vanessa Heyvaert and Evelien Boes introduced everyone to the principle of tsunami deposits in coastal lakes. The children learned about fieldwork, and how we can collect sediment cores from the bottoms of lakes. Afterwards, they had the chance to take a good look at (and even feel) the striking tsunami deposit from the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami in a sediment core from a pond in Khao Lak, Thailand. And if that was not doing the trick, a quick gaze through the microscope at sand from the 1755 Lisbon Tsunami definitely awoke the children’s inner geologists.
Overall, it was a very instructive and successful day. A big round of applause for the members of the educational board of the museum for their inexhaustible enthusiasm is more than deserved!
Our faith in the future seismologic community remains unshaken (pun intended…)!
|Coring in the garden|
|That's how an earthquake wave propagates!|
|Building a house from LEGO...|
|and verify if it can withstand a shake table earthquake|
|Making a seismometer is a serious job!|
|At the Geological Survey, learning about tsunami deposits in lakes|
|Looking at the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami deposits...|
|and touching it|
|Playing with the microscope, like real scientists|
|Time for a tsunami! Or 20...|