Museum of Science and Industry


Pop quiz! Name things that you can shake. Okay, I hear "Polaroid pictures," a few mischievous "cans of soda," and I think we even have a couple of rump shakers here! But did anyone say an entire building? Engineers at the University of California are conducting tests that shake a five-story building using something called a shake table (see one in action in the incredible video above).

Shake tables are very helpful when trying to engineer buildings to be safer during, or even able to withstand, earthquakes! This series of tests will mark a number of firsts, including the first time in the United States such a test has monitored a building’s structure as well as things inside (like medical equipment, stairs, and electrical wiring), and the first time a building will be fire-tested after the mock seismic shakes!

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Museum of Science+Industry
5700 S. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60637
1 (773) 684-1414
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