By: Malcolm Mayhew
Years of studying violent acts of nature such as tsunamis and earthquakes have brought forth innovative methods for predicting when and where an earthquake will strike.
Since January the C.R. Smith Museum has welcomed guests to experience a hands-on special exhibit, When the Earth Shakes, featuring the physics of earthquakes. Interactive events that display the Earth’s tectonics must be pieced together before time runs out and the pieces fall.
Museum-goers will have the opportunity to engineer structures that must withstand earthquakes on the Shake Table, jump on the Quake Karaoke platform to match an earthquake seismogram, and build structures on a “beach” that can withstand the launch of a wave in the 16-foot Tsunami Tank. The destruction is captured on video, and builders can review the footage in slow motion to try to improve their design.
Since 1993 the C.R. Smith Museum has specialized in the mechanics and physics of the world and in aviation. Children who are fascinated by flight have the opportunity to touch, feel and experience (through simulators) flying. Interactive displays and exhibits showcase the history of American Airlines, along with how engineers are capable of modern-day flight through planes carrying hundreds of people every day. Artifacts, which began with the Paul Kent Collection, were acquisitioned, catalogued and incorporated into the museum’s displays and archives by staff and volunteers.
The “star” and centerpiece of the C.R. Smith Museum is its restored 1940 Douglas DC-3, Flagship Knoxville. Visitors can get a realistic sense of what air travel was like in the ’40s when C.R. Smith and the DC-3 revolutionized commercial air travel.
The museum’s Flightlab features computer simulators and games for visitors with wind tunnels and interactive displays that educate on aerodynamics and how planes are capable of staying in the air.
Admission to When the Earth Shakes is $7 for adults and $4 for kids under 17 and seniors over 65, though special discounts are available for members, students and military, and large groups.
When the Earth Shakes
American Airlines C.R. Smith Museum
Jan. 14 – Sept. 2
Tues. – Sat., 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
4601 Hwy. 360 at FAA Road
Fort Worth 76155 | 817.967.1560
By: Malcolm Mayhew