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Earth Science
Hands-On Learning Activities and Lesson Plans


bulletMaking a seismograph and a geophone, Corvallis, Oregon, October, 2007.
bulletEducational Seismology Workshop, Anderson Lodge, Yale, Washington, August 21-23, 2007.
bulletOSU SMILE Teacher Workshop, August, 2007.
bulletCorvallis Farmers' Market display, July, 2007.
bulletIRIS AS1 Workshop at the regional NSTA meeting, March, 2007.
bulletEarthquake Awareness Month, Corvallis, Oregon, April, 2007.
bulletAS-1 Workshop at California State University, Northridge, January, 2007.
bulletVisit to IRIS seismic station at Wishkah Valley School on July 27, 2006.
bulletEarthquake Adventure Afternoon at the Port Townsend, WA, Marine Science Center, July 22 and 23, 2006.
bulletPortland, Oregon, Classroom Seismology Program, June 26-27, 2006.
bulletSeismological Society of America Meeting, April, 2006.
bulletSan Francisco Exploratorium seismology demonstrations, April, 2006.
bulletSeismology and Volcanology Workshop and Math Festival in Costa Rica, 2006.
bulletIRIS AS1 Workshop at the regional NSTA meeting, November, 2005.
bulletIRIS Waves Workshop at the regional NSTA meeting in Chicago, November, 2005.
bulletRocks, Fossils, Shakes and Quakes Day Camp at Port Townsend, Washington, July 2005.
bulletEarthquake and volcano workshop in Costa Rica, May 2005.
bulletSumatra Magnitude 9 of December 2004.
bulletFall, 2004, visits to educators running seismic stations.
bulletSpring, 2004 visits to educators running seismic stations.
bulletTechnology in Education Workshop, June, 2004.

Demonstrations and Activities

bulletModel fault using spaghetti noodles.
bulletThumbnail Blog:  Tectonic plates move as fast as fingernails grow -- but how fast do they grow?  Watch and find out, starting May 14, 2006.
bulletTable-top seismology demonstration.   Could be used for a science fair project or for a classroom demonstration.  
bullet Earthshaking Lab Lesson Plan.  Small groups of students explore the principal mechanism of earthquakes, namely "stick-slip."
bulletBuild a mechanical seismometer.
bulletBuild an earthquake-simulating shake table and test your building-design skills.
bulletModel Illustrating Sea-Floor spreading and Subduction.   Instructions for making a working tectonic model from a shoe box.
bulletPictures of a few of the other models I've made.
bullet Paper Model of a Volcano and view QuickTime animations of an eruption.
bullet Paper Model of a Strike-Slip Fault with QuickTime animations showing some of the hazards of earthquake shaking.
bulletOther USGS paper models:  Link1 and Link2.
bulletTurn students into a "human wave" that teaches in a memorable way about P and S waves in solids and liquids.
bulletMake a "standing wave machine" for some fun and to learn a bit more about waves.
bulletMake an interactive model to explore the Earth's magnetic field.
bulletMake your own Devil's Postpile.
bulletRecord changes in the Earth's magnetic field with a homemade magnetometer.

General Information

bulletThe Earth's Core.
bulletLinks to earth science animations.
bulletMoment magnitude: Is it a new magnitude scale?
bulletInformation on the use of seismic techniques to locate gunshots.
bulletCompare actual P-phase travel times with those assuming a constant velocity Earth: evidence for the increase of velocity with depth within the Earth.
bulletSummary of sources of geology information from the USGS.
bulletThis paper includes examples of the types of events recorded at a volcano.
bulletInformation about earthquakes, magnitudes, Alaskan seismicity, and other topics of earth-shaking interest developed while I worked for the USGS in Fairbanks, Alaska.
bulletSummary paper on the Seismicity of Continental Alaska.

Denver, Colorado

bulletIf you live near Denver, CO, visit the USGS Earth Science Information Center in Lakewood for lots of great publications and maps, some free, and to see the new public display area there. 

California Faults

bulletIf you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, CA, you must tour the Hayward Fault.
bulletPhoto tour of the San Andreas  Fault.

(Comments, Corrections, Feedback, & Questions are always welcome via Email)


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