SOEST to Showcase Earth Sciences This Weekend

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Kids and families will get to explore Pacific rim earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, deep sea creatures and Mars rocks at the SOEST Open House this weekend.

The School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology hosts an open house every other year, its 2013 event drawing over 7,600 people.

“Students and families will learn about volcanoes, tsunamis, El Niño, planetary exploration, hurricanes, coastal erosion, and marine ecosystems, to name just a few topics,” organizers write. “They will visit state-of-the-art laboratories and hear about cutting-edge research from the scientists who are making the new discoveries.”

There are nearly 100 different exhibits planned for this year’s event, including hands-on activities, interactive demonstrations, and poster presentations. Attendees will also be able to explore topics like indigenous knowledge (from the school’s Native Hawaiian mentoring program to new “Traditional Knowledge Teaching Boxes” being designed for teachers) and encouraging more women to enter scientific fields (led by the local chapter of Graduate Women in Science).

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The open house will include:

  • Make-A-Quake: Generate an earthquake in a model of the Pacific region.
    Explosive Eruptions: An explosive eruption 10 meters high, fueled by liquid nitrogen.
  • Humpback Whales: Whale skill tests and whale trivia.
  • The Plankton Toss: A carnival tossing game featuring the marine food web.
  • Meteorites from Mars: See actual meteorites from the Red Planet.
  • Creatures of the Sea: View preserved samples of strange creatures from the deep ocean.
  • Inner Space: Explore the world’s deepest ocean trench.

The “Inner Space” exhibit is part of The James Cameron Experience, presented by one of the filmmaker’s science advisers who participated in the historic 2012 expedition to the Mariana Trench. Offerings include presentations by partner organizations like the Waikiki Aquarium and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will also be there for community outreach.

For a sense of what the SOEST Open House is like, you can check out photos from 2007, 2009, and 2011, and this video from the last one:

 

SOEST was established at the University of Hawaii in 1988, bringing together four academic departments (Oceanography, Geology and Geophysics, Meteorology, and Ocean and Resources Engineering), eight research institutes, several federal cooperative programs, laboratories and support facilities. The combined ocean, Earth, planetary science and technology programs  bring in over $140 million dollars in funding per year.

The SOEST Open House is a nice terrestrial counterpart to the annual open house at the Institute for Astronomy.

This event is free and open to the public and will run from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 23, and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, October 24. The jam-packed program (PDF) features a number of exhibits that will only be available on one of the two days, which will be scattered in and around the Pacific Ocean Science and Technology (POST), Marine Science, and Hawaii Institute of Geophysics buildings on the UH Manoa campus.

For more information, check out the 2015 SOEST Open House page, follow @SOESTNews on Twitter, or connect with the school on Facebook. You can also reach organizers by phone at (808) 956-3151 or by email at openhouse@soest.hawaii.edu.

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