Prepare to be moved! Take a kinetic journey through seismic phenomena and explore how they fit into Earth's geologic history. Walk through the center of our planet, brave the infamous Shake House, and more!

Don’t miss Earthquake, a major exhibit exploring the seismic science of Earth’s fascinating geologic transformations—and forces that continue to impact our lives today. Occupying the entire west wing of the Academy, Earthquake goes big: Among its large-scale installations are a walk-through model of planet Earth, an earthquake simulator resembling an old Victorian home, and an interactive space that teaches earthquake preparedness.

This exhibit is no longer on view. 


Visitors inside the "Shake House" feel the floor shake as chandeliers sway.

The Shake House

Experience the sustained tremors of San Francisco's two biggest quakes—the 6.9-magnitude Loma Prieta earthquake and the 7.9-magnitude Great San Francisco quake of 1906—from inside the dining room of a Victorian-era "Painted Lady" house. (Ages 4 and up)


A giant recreation of our planet allows visitors to wander inside and explore the core.

Head for the Core

Step into Earth's interior to see the forces and phenomena that drive the movement of tectonic plates. Examine geologic specimens from Earth's core, mantle, and crust, and explore what earthquake wave patterns tell us about the inner workings of our planet.

Earthquake Kit

Get Prepared

Earthquakes are nothing if not unpredictable, so preparedness is key. Learn tips on how to make a plan, make a kit, get kids involved, and more!

Visitors play the interactive "Connect the Continents" game

Connect the Continents

Recreate the ancient landmass of Gondwana by using touchscreens to rotate and move puzzle pieces across an 85-inch plasma screen.

Get Quake Ready

Earthquake Tips

Find out what you can do right now to protect yourself in the event of an earthquake. You'll be happy you did.


Earthquake, the Course

Shaking with curiosity? Learn even more about earthquakes in this multimedia course—a collaboration between KQED and the California Academy of Sciences.

A Pioneer of Seismic Safety

Professor Bruce Bolt pioneered the field of seismic engineering, helping to strengthen California safety codes for private and public buildings. A former president of the Academy's Board of Trustees, Bolt is remembered for his passionate advocacy of earthquake awareness.

The Earthquake exhibit is generously supported by the American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter; Terri Arington; Joan and Peter Avenali; Janice and Matthew Barger; California Earthquake Authority; Caroline Damsky; Michele Dana; Jean and Gregory Farrington; Randi and Bob Fisher; John and Carol Hamilton; Ishiyama Foundation; Stuart Jivapongse; Ann L. and Charles B. Johnson; Lakeside Foundation; Vera and Ken Meislin; Rand Morimoto; The Bernard Osher Foundation; Pacific Gas and Electric Company; Jaclyn Rusch; Betty and Horton Shapiro; Joan Steinberg; Toshiko and Larry Toji; and Dawn Yates Black.

Earthquake sponsors