Foundations

All exhibits except the Live Animal Exhibit are currently off display and will be available when we reopen at 199 Museum Way in Fall of 2017.

Foundations, the new geology exhibit resides in a newly opened area of Randall Museum, never before seen by visitors!

Over time California geologic formations created the landscape we know today, from wild habitats to our urban city. Bay Area residents are no strangers to earthquakes that dictate how we build new homes and require certain precautions. Additionally, local rocks and minerals are the key building blocks for products we use every day. Local geology has such an affect on our daily lives that this exhibit is called “Foundations.”

Throughout the exhibit visitors will learn about the different types of geological materials under many locations around the city, especially the immense amount of unseen sand below our feet. A live seismometer monitors the motions of our local fault systems and displays historical data; LEGO© shake tables demonstrate the basics of building on shifting ground; and a fun interactive rock combination game allows visitors to discover the mineral ingredients that make up many products we use every day.

Our earthquake exhibit also includes full-sized replica of an earthquake refugee shack. The Great San Francisco Earthquake and Fire of 1906 destroyed more than half of the City’s homes, but most of the people escaped. Many San Franciscans adapted to life in temporary homes like this one while the city was rebuilt.

Around the corner from the seismograph and refugee shack, you’ll find a very popular addition to our earthquake exhibit: three shake tables on which you can build LEGO structures and test their ability to withstand earthquakes of different strengths.

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