The Wiggle Watcher World Challenge

The Wiggle Watcher World Challenge brings the best of our earth science, earthquake and tsnuami activities to folks of all ages on the Oregon Coast.  Sixteen "stations" are set up, each with an activity to help visitors learn about an important aspect of earthquakes and tsunamis.  The activities are easy and fun, and will usually elicit a "wow" or "so that's how it works !" from the visitor.  
Although adults love to participate and learn too, children will especially enjoy the "challenge".  Each child is given a card listing the activities.  As they complete an activity, they check it off on the card.  Those children who complete all sixteen activities receive their very own "I'm a Wiggle Watcher " sticker and a slinky which is used to demonstrate the different types of earthquake waves.
The Challenge exhibit has been shown at schools, emergency preparedness fairs, and other gatherings for adults and children alike.  There is no cost.  We only ask that the sponsoring organization supply at least two volunteers to assist the children at the various activity stations.  If you are interested in exhibiting the Challenge at your event, please contact Kay Wyatt at .

Create an Earthquake!

Children jumping to create an "earthquake" and watching the "wiggles" on the computer monitor

A Puzzle of Plates

A young student learns about tectonic plates by assembling the plate puzzle.

Types of Plate Boundaries

A small child learns about the three types of plate boundaries using a foam model of the Pacific Northwest

Elastic Rebound

An animation demonstrates how the North America Plate gets "stuck" on the
Juan de Fuca plate allowing tremendous stress to build up until one day it rebounds in a great Cascadia earthquake

Rocks that Bend!

Understanding that rocks can really bend is hard at any age.  Here visitors have a chance to squeeze a slotted granite core sample together! This is an important concept in learning how the North America plate "bends" when it gets stuck against the Juan de Fuca plate in the Cascadia Subduction Zone.

Faults and Folds

Two children use the geology "squeeze" box with flour, gravel and potting soil to show how rock layers bend, fold and break (fault) when under compressional forces

When is "The Big One"?

In this experiment, a child shows the difficulty in predicting when an earthquake will occur.  Wooden blocks are pulled by a rubberband along
a strip of sandpaper .  You just can't predict when the blocks will jump forward (rebound).

Seismic Waves and a Slinky

Two young teens demonstrate with a slinky how a P-wave and an S-wave propagate in the earth during an earthquake

Vibrations to Electricity

A child wraps wire around a spool, attaches it to a computer, and with a magnet creates "wiggles".  This is a great way to show how to convert earth vibrations into electricity --- a seismograph!

A Real Seismometer

At this station, visitors can see how a "real" seismograph works.  This seismograph can record earthquakes from all over the world!

How far away is that Earthquake?

At this station visitors recall how we estimate the distance to a storm by counting the seconds between lightning and thunder.  Similarly we can tell how far away an earthquake is by counting the seconds between the P-Wave and the S-Wave.

Where is that earthquake?

With string and a pen, visitors can show how THREE seismographs can be used to find the location of an earthquake.


A movie shows how a subduction zone earthquake creates a tsunami.  And a watertank let's the visitor create their own tsunami!

Resonant Buildings

The "popsicle" activity lets visitors test their skills in demonstrating how buildings of varying heights respond differently to an earthquake.  Can YOU shake just one of the "buildings"?!


We've all probably heard about earthquake liquefaction.  But how many of us actually know what it is?  With this activity you can create your own "earthquake" and see it happen!!


Build a Stronger Wall

There is a whole science of earthquake engineering!  So much can be done to help new (and old) buildings better withstand an earthquake.  In this activity, visitors can experiment themselves in building a stronger wall. 


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