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Earthquakes Teaching Strategies  

Please share some teaching strategies, tips, or activities you use to teach about earthquake hazards.

5507:18521

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In my classes, we review a ground cover and shaking amplitude map of San Francisco. Students determine where they live, and where would be good places to purchase homes in this area, based on the risk of liquefaction and the amplification of ground shaking. USGS has some great resources on these issues:
http://earthquake.usgs.gov/hazards/

5507:18522

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When I was a SCEC SURE intern in Summer 2010, I helped with a workshop for local high school science teachers. We downloaded the kmz files for the segments of the San Andreas fault nearest us (from http://www.siovizcenter.ucsd.edu/topo/b4.php). We then explored the relationship (if any) between where the faults are and where neighborhoods/other structures have been built.

5507:18527

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When I taught middle and high school, I built a small hand operated shake table and had students build structures with tape and straws. We then tested them and discussed problems like collapse and shifting off foundations.

They also experimented with how to retrofit a wall frame of straws to sustain shear stress. Very simple, but I think even some intro college-level students could benefit from understanding the basics of x-bracing and shear wall design.

5507:18531

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