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
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...|