The 2017 Lamont-Doherty Open House was chock-full of eruptions—but thankfully, volcano heat suits were not required. Photo: Kyu Lee
Nearly 4,000 people showed up to the Lamont-Doherty Open House on Saturday. Through interactive exhibits, games, goo, and a few explosions, people of all ages learned about geology, earth science, and climate change—and had a lot of fun in the process. Here are a few of our favorite moments from the day’s several dozen activities and lectures.
Kids listen to a simulation of Earth’s movements. Photo: Sarah Fecht
A goo made out of glue and Borax simulates the flow of glaciers. Toothpicks, originally placed in a straight line, illustrate how ice flows faster in the center due to lack of friction. Photo: Sarah Fecht
Researchers use ping pong balls and liquid nitrogen to simulate a Plinian eruption. Videos by Sarah Fecht and Kyu Lee/Earth Institute at Columbia University
By cutting gelatin and injecting juice into the cracks, kids learned how fracking and wastewater injection can cause earthquakes. Photo: Kyu Lee
Fishing for plankton using nets made from coffee cups and pantyhose. Photo: Sarah Fecht
Open House attendees made murals to answer the questions “How does climate change affect me?” and “What can I do about climate change?” Photo: Sarah Fecht
Earth scientist Marc Spiegelman dances on a mixture of cornstarch and water to demonstrate some of the amazing properties of rocks—like their ability to be both elastic and brittle. Video by Kyu Lee/Earth Institute at Columbia University
Maria Diuk-Wasser’s research team at Columbia University studies ticks and mosquitoes, and how changes to the environment can increase the spread of the diseases these insects carry, such as Lyme disease and West Nile Virus. The group brought vials of deer ticks from their field work, with samples from all of the developmental stages of life (e.g., larvae, nymphs, and adults), to show how small and difficult to detect these ticks can be. They also demonstrated how ticks are collected in the field using a “drag cloth” and velcro-attaching ticks.
In this demonstration, kids set up barriers to try to protect a town from a volcanic eruption of hot wax—except they don’t know which volcano will blow, and they only get a few blocks. In this case, the kids managed to save the school (center left), but couldn’t save one of the houses (center). Photo: Sarah Fecht
Kids at Cottage Lane Elementary School made drawings as part of the Kids Against Climate Change coalition. Photo: Kyu Lee
In the tent for the International Research Institute for Climate and Society, an artist painted faces to look like global climate patterns. Photo: Francesco Fiondella