The rock and ice mechanics lab at Lamont-Doherty is led by PIs Heather Savage, Christine McCarthy and Ben Holtzman. We are in the process of growing our lab and building our experimental program. Along with a team of postdocs, undergrads, grads, and longtime staff engineer Ted, we are rehabilitating and revamping some of the old equipment and building new rigs for exciting new experiments on both rock and ice. You can follow along with our progress here.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Outreach: Brooklyn Elementary School Science Fair

This weekend I took the Rock Mechanics show on the road! A family from Brooklyn PS372 ("The Children's School") saw our set up at Open House, got my contact information, and asked me to come to their annual Science Day.

In addition to the rock mechanics table, there were things like electrical circuits, optical illusions, ultrasound, gardening, and making silly putty. We all set up our tables in the gymnasium before the kids arrived.
I figured that some of the kids may have already had some introduction to geology, so I brought a small collection of rocks. Sure enough, when I started talking about the rock cycle, a few yelled "Igneous!" and "Sandstone!" (okay, close enough). I also brought the rock with the strain gauges and goniometer, which is always a big hit.
And of course I brought our slider block demonstration of earthquakes. Though once they figured out how the seismometer app worked it was hard to see the small motions of the block sliding over their stomping and banging on the table. I wish I would have taken a picture or two of the kids in action, but once they started arriving I was doing demos almost nonstop for three hours. It was a fun but exhausting day.

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