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Outreach Highlights

A number of NEES test facilities offer events to educate the public about earthquake and tsunami engineering, as do several museums with exhibits on the topic. A complete list is located at

NEES researchers, educators, and test facilities around the nation are engaged in fascinating research and development of safe and resilient structures that support our daily needs of shelter, water, electricity, and transportation.

Some of the outreach highlights include:

Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago

Tsunami Wave Tank - Tsunami waves carry a tremendous amount of energy across long distances. Scientists try to explain and predict tsunamis by studying wave behavior—and one of their tools is the wave tank. In the exhibit’s 30-foot wave tank, visitors may unleash their own custom wave (tsunami or regular ocean) and investigate its impact on different coastal environments. Use a high-speed camera to record and play back the wave activity to learn about its energy and how it moves differently across different coastlines.
Oregon State University

The Tsunami Structure Challenge. Initially developed for undergraduate engineering students, the Challenge has been successfully used with middle school science classes as well as diverse age groups during facility open houses.Participants construct a shelter (using wood pieces) capable of withstanding the tsunami wave that would be generated by a magnitude 9 earthquake from the nearby Cascadia Subduction Zone.

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Cornell University

Sciencenter in Ithaca, NY - Find out about earthquakes and how they affect structures. From here, visitors can remotely test a multi-story building in four different earthquakes, and watch short videos about earthquakes and engineering.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Centrifuge Workshops: The overall goal of these workshops is to provide both basic background and real experience in centrifuge testing that will help participants in writing NEESR proposals effectively.

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University of Nevada, Reno

Junior Science and Humanities Symposium - High school students attend the Northern California/ Western Nevada Jr. Science Symposium at the University of Nevada, Reno for a conference to hear lectures from top scientists and other students about science and engineering. During their first day at Nevada, the students participate in many tours and activities across campus. 10 students are chosen to participate in a hands-on activity utilizing mini shake table at the Large Scale Structures Laboratory. The students are asked to brace a building made from popsicle sticks, that would resist the Kobe Earthquake simulated by the shake table. Each group is given a budget and the winner is the team that constructs a safe building for the least amount of money.


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