USGS Menlo Park Science Center Earth Science Day 22 April 2010 Exhibits

Learn more about our April 22, 2010 Earth Science Day

Download the exhibit list as a pdf.

Exhibit Title
USGS Scientists
Exhibit DescriptionCA grade 2-6 Science Standard
and Link to USGS [or exhibitor] Topic Information
Teacher Resources TableFree maps, posters, postcards, factsheets, and more are available for teachers and parentsAlmost all areas
Natural Science Jeopardy
A unique opportunity for students to test their natural science knowledge. Play a game of Jeopardy and learn natural science facts of Geography, Hydrology, Geology, and more.Almost all areas
Typical Rocks of the San Francisco Bay Area
Mike Clynne
Examine rocks of the Bay Area.Shaping Earth's Surface: Volcanoes and Rocks
How do Geologists Name Igneous Rock
Mike Clynne
Display of Typical Igneous Rocks.Shaping Earth's Surface: Volcanoes and Rocks
Do Soils breathe?
Kristen Manies
Did you know that the microbes in soil breathe out CO2, just like people do? Come use some scientific equipment to measure how much CO2 can released by soils and see how plants take up some of that same CO2. Then learn more about the role of CO2 in regulating the global climate and see what makes the soils of Alaska so interesting to USGS scientists.
Minerals in Our Lives
Kent Fogleman
Examine minerals that are used every day in our lives.Physical Sciences: Metals and Earth Sciences: Minerals
How Clean Is Clean?
Jim Kuwabara, Brent Topping
Water-quality demonstration about specific conductivityResources
Fly Over the Seafloor
Peter Dartnell
Take a virtual "flight" over sea-floor bathymetry using computer graphics. Shaping Earth's Surface: Plate Tectonics
And fly-by movie available from"
Mount St. Helens vs. Kilauea
Joel Robinson and Dina Venezky
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the explosive eruption of Mount St. Helens on May 18, 1980. But Kilauea has been erupting continuously since 1983, which is almost that long. Come learn about how the volcanoes are similar and different. There will be rock samples to examine.Shaping Earth's Surface: Volcanoes and Rocks and
Why do we Care About Volcanic CO2?
Learn about CO2 and how it's release affected Lake Nyos and the Long Valley Caldera.Shaping Earth's Surface: Volcanoes
Reunite Gondwana - Plate Tectonics Puzzle
Dina Venezky
Reunite the plates to how the earth looked 225 million years ago. This exercise for students is the first in a series to complement the This Dynamic Planet Map and This Dynamic Earth Book.Investigations: Maps, Shaping Earth's Surface: Plate Tectonics
Volcano Rescue Use topographic maps to locate hikers who got trapped on a volcano that is showing signs of renewed activity. Investigations: Maps
Earthquakes and Eruptions - The Lure of Yellowstone
Jake Lowenstern and others
Learn how calderas are formed, like the those formed during the previous two supereruptions at Yellowstone. Compare the recent earthquake swarms with swarms from the past.Shaping Earth's Surface: Volcanoes
Coral Reef Ecosystems
Nancy Prouty
This display will demonstrate the value of these ecosystems and provide an informational resource about coral and coral ecosystems through a coral reef "I Spy" Activity and coloring pages
Microfossils and Tree Rings Tells Us About Age and Climate Change
Mary McGann and Holly Olson
We will use microfossils and tree rings to show some methods scientists use to tell the age of fossils and how climates have changed through geologic time. Microscopes and dendrochronology equipment (a slice of a tree trunk and coring equipment) will be used.Life Sciences
Rocks On Geologic Maps
Dan Mosier and John Galloway
Using the Rock Formations Explanation of a geologic map, students place rock specimens on the appropriate rock formations on a geologic map. This helps students learn how to read a geologic map and relate it to rocks.
Poetry Corner: Write Poems about Science and Nature
Helen Gibbons
April is National Poetry Month! Students can celebrate science, the Earth, and the arts by writing a poem about science or nature, either before or during Earth Science Day. Bring poems written before the event to be hung up at the Poetry Corner, or have a seat during the event and write a poem there. Haiku (online guidelines available at, limericks (online guidelines at, or any form welcome. Recommended books: "Spectacular Science," "Science, fresh squeezed," "Science Verse," and "101 Science Poems & Songs for Young Learners (Grades 1-3)"
Quake Cottage-Mobile Earthquake Simulator
Glen and Trish Granholm
Quake Cottage is a mobile earthquake simulator designed as a storybook-looking cottage with thatched roof and rests on a double-axle tandem trailer. It is self-powered and has three-dimensional movement. The interior can be set to resemble a typical family room or office environment. It features a fully equipped entertainment center, seating for two to three persons, a computer system, a cabinet with doors, and decorative framed art. All of the contents are seismically fastened to protect the occupants and demonstrate how violent yet survivable a major earthquake can be. Earth's Surface: Earthquakes
The Great California ShakeOut-Drop, Cover, and Hold On!
Susan Garcia
The ShakeOut is a chance for all California schools to prepare themselves for major earthquakes. Practicing Drop, Cover, and Hold On! is one way to protect yourself from large earthquakes. Is your school registered to participate in the largest earthquake drill ever! Be an example that motivates other to participate and get prepared. Register today at: On-site registration will be available.Shaping Earth's Surface: Earthquakes
Real-time Seismograph Display
Mark Goldman
Set up will include a single line of earthquake instruments referred to as geophones (60-ft long) along with a seismograph that will monitor the ground shaking signals the kids produce as they stomp around the exhibit area.Shaping Earth's Surface: Earthquakes
Topo Salad Trays
Mike Torresan, Carol Reiss
Stack clear plastic trays with a contour line drawn on each to create 3D models of Angel Island and Monterey Canyon. View 3D topo-salad-tray models of Mount St. Helens before and after its big 1980 eruption.
Livin' on the Fault Line-How Close To A Fault Do You Live?
Display a map that shows earthquakes and fault lines in the San Francisco Bay Area. Students will be given an overview about earthquakes and why they happen in the Bay Area. A fault board will be used to demonstrate plate tectonics.Shaping Earth's Surface: Earthquakes
A Human Seismic WaveŃSeismic Waves and the Slinky
Activity is designed to introduce the concepts of waves and seismic waves that propagate within the Earth. The use of the slinky effectively demonstrates the characteristics of seismic waves and wave propagation.Shaping Earth's Surface: Earthquakes
Jim Calzia
Have questions about geology? Stop by the booth and talk with USGS Geologist Jim CalziaAny
Batteries and Bauxite
Eileen O'Halloran
What are some common household materials and what are they made of? How and where should they be recycled?Earth Sciences: Minerals
Title: Senseta MAX Rovers for Earth and Space Research
John Spritzer, Florian Selch, Andrew Klofas, & Jacques Dolan
The Senseta MAX rover is a compact low-cost 4-wheel drive, 4-wheel steer rover outfitted with sensors and electronics that make it ideally suited for supporting research relevant to intelligent teleoperation and as a low-cost autonomous robotic test bed. MAX rovers have been deployed to extreme environments such as the Arctic, the Atacama Desert, and the Mojave Desert and have been operated by NASA and Carnegie Mellon University as well as in collaboration with the USGS and the US Army.
How Can We Make Buildings Safer
Chris Stephens and The NSMP Team
Students will test the resistance of structures to seismic shaking. The exhibit will demonstrate the sensitivity of structures of different heights to the frequency of ground motion.Shaping Earth's Surface: Earthquakes
The REAL Dirt on Liquefaction
Mike Bennett, Tom Holzer and Coyn Criley
Exhibit will show how ground conditions immediately beneath a structure affect how hard a structure shakes.Shaping Earth's Surface