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Teaching Activities

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Earthquake Demonstration
This demonstration uses an "earthquake machine" constructed from bricks, sand paper, and a winch, to simulate the buildup of elastic strain energy prior to a seismic event and the release of that energy ...

The 2004 Sumatra Earthquake and Tsunami
Steve Kluge
In this multi-part activity, students study seismograms from different seismic stations recording the Sumatra earthquake of December 26th, 2004 and then determine the epicenter of the quake and track the tsunami it ...

Locating and Measuring Earthquakes Using Real Seismic Data
Kelly Liu, Missouri University of Science and Technology
The objective is to locate an earthquake and measure its Richter magnitude using real data recorded by seismographs.

Determining Earthquake Probability and Recurrence from Past Seismic Events
Eric Baer, Highline College
A homework/classroom activity where students collect historical earthquake information and use it to forecast the probability of larger earthquakes.

Explore natural hazards in seismically active regions using geodetic, earthquake, and societal data.
Shelley Olds, UNAVCO
Students conduct a regional seismic hazard analysis of a region of the United States of their choosing*. Using on-line data, they bring together and investigate the interaction of multiple types of data [ground ...

Exploring Earthquake Hazards with GIS
Constantin Cranganu, CUNY Brooklyn College
This activity is a straightforward application of GIS to assessment of earthquake hazards. The students get more modeling skills with GIS and a better understanding of earthquake hazards.

Subduction Zone Earthquakes
David Steer, The University of Akron;
While working in groups to facilitate peer tutoring, students manipulate a hands-on, physical model to better comprehend several characteristics of subduction zone earthquakes. -

Ground Shaking and Damage at Your House
Carla Whittington, Highline Community College
In this activity, students use a seismic hazard map from the USGS to estimate the ground shaking hazard in their community. The map shows a 10% probability of ground accelerations reaching or exceeding a certain % ...

A Kinesthetic Demonstration for Locating Earthquake Epicenters
John Keyantash, California State University-Dominguez Hills
A kinesthetic activity for students to understand the technique for locating the epicenter of an earthquake. It is performed indoors and outdoors in three lessons.

Student-centered Experiments on Earthquake Occurrence Using the Seismic/Eruption Program
Jeffrey Barker, SUNY at Binghamton
Students select their own region of interest and interrogate the earthquake catalog to obtain quantitative data on the rate of occurrence of earthquakes of various magnitudes within their chosen region.

Natural Hazards on the Island of Hawaii
Andrew Greene, Hawaii Pacific University
In this jigsaw activity, students discover four different aspects of natural hazards on the Island of Hawaii. The goal for students is to design a hazard zone map that combines these four topics and that could be ...

The 2014 La Habra earthquake: Teaching Risk and Resilience in Southern California with Citizen Science
Danielle Sumy, IRIS Consortium
This exercise uses the example of the March 28, 2014 M5.1 La Habra earthquake to teach about earthquake risk and resilience in southern California. Students will examine seismic waveforms recording during the earthquake, as well as read reports from scientific agencies and news outlets to answer basic questions regarding earthquake risk and resilience.

Frequency of Large Earthquakes -- Introducing Some Elementary Statistical Descriptors
Len Vacher, University of South Florida
Spreadsheets Across the Curriculum module. Students examine the number of large earthquakes (magnitude 7 and above) per year for 1970-1999 and 1940-1999. QL: descriptors of a frequency distribution.

Shaking Ground - Linking Earthquake Magnitude and Intensity
Eric Baer, Highline Community College
An in-class activity for connecting earthquake magnitude, shaking, and intensity.

Achim Herrmann, George Washington University
This activity uses geoinformatics to understand the world around us with an emphasis on earthquakes.

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