After the earthquake last Tuesday, staff in the Office of Education and Outreach reached out to visitors in various ways to encourage learning and dialogue. Since I am from Peru originally and have experienced a 8.0 magnitude earthquake, I wanted also to engage with our visitors and to learn about their experiences.
On August 24th, I spent some time in the Museum's Rotunda with comment cards and two questions: Where were you during the earthquake? and What would you like to know about the earthquake? This was a wonderful opportunity to talk with families and children. Many visitors had never experienced an earthquake before and were really surprised about this event. Some were visiting museums around the Mall, some kids were in the classroom, a few of the visitors
were in their cars on their way to DC, and one of our visitors was sailing in the middle of the ocean. I was impressed about how much young children know about earthquakes and how they happen. During our conversations, interesting questions came up, such as: Did the earthquake damage any exhibits? How does the museum check? Why was the earthquake felt so far away? What is the closest fault line and what is its name, what kind of fault is it? What type of wave is stronger? How many aftershocks are usually there after an earthquake?
To see the complete set of comment cards from our visitors, click here.
Maria del Carmen Cossu, Program Coordinator for Against All Odds: Rescue at the Chilean Mine, Office of Education and Outreach