Changing Earth


The Earth is always changing. Powerful forces shape our air, water and land, and will continue to transform our planet. Step into this exhibition and explore how our response to Earth's changes will impact our future on Earth. Fun and engaging interactives let you explore Earth's changes—and your choices in responding to these changes.


ENTRY AND ICONS: Walk through an image of the Earth projected on a fog curtain, as though you are descending into the Earth's atmosphere. Enter into an exhibition featuring a stunning giant satellite image globe as its centerpiece and a giant screen presentation recounting the violent history of our planet. Past Earth was uninhabitable by people; will we be able to live on future Earth?

AIR: Earth's ATMOSPHERE is impacted by local changes. Play the role of Earth's greenhouse gases and move to capture or release radiated heat into the atmosphere. Calculate your own carbon footprint by answering questions about your lifestyle. Find solutions to reduce carbon emissions and discuss how we can affect global climate change. Investigate how our everyday WEATHER relates to interactions between air, water, land, and the sun. Create your own weather by selecting the temperature and humidity of two different air masses and see what weather condition results. Step "on camera" and deliver a weather story that impacts people's lives. Take a look at historical instruments used for weather forecasting.

WATER: Explore how our OCEAN'S coastlines are ever changing. Select a time in history and see how coastlines and sea levels have changed over time. A model of the statue of liberty becomes submerged or exposed as sea levels change. Connect with how people are living with and changing RIVERS around them. Examine a broken levee from Katrina and see a cherished baby book damaged from the flood. Play with real streams to experiment with how dams and water volume affect river flow and erosion.

LAND: How are people changing the SURFACE OF LAND? Simulate wind erosion and see how environments with vegetation keep the soil intact, while barren areas allow the soil to erode. Learn about sustainable construction on land. UNDERNEATH THE SURFACE explore seismographs of recent earthquakes. See where population densities, hospitals and power plants are on our active fault lines. Build a structure on our shake table.will it survive the big quake? Crawl through magma toward the center of the Earth and become the forces under our feet that move our Earth.

The exhibition is constructed out of sustainable materials. Flooring is made from recycled content and post-consumer waste products. All wood is Forest Stewardship Council certified or bamboo; the metal is recyclable; paint is low-VOC, and graphics are printed on recycled material using water-based inks. Green interpretation throughout the exhibit highlights the use of these materials for visitors.

Support provided by:

The Hamilton Family Foundation      SUNOCO

And investors in the Inspire Science campaign.

Media Partner:


PECO Smart Ideas
PECO Smart Ideas

The Franklin Institute encourages you to visit the PECO Smart Ideas Website to save energy and money, and help the environment.