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Teaching Activities


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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 ...

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

Earthquake Shaking and Damage
Eric Baer, Highline Community College
This student homework and problem set has students quantitatively earthquake hazard, shaking and damage.

BotEC: The San Andreas Fault's Rate of Movement
Peter Kresan
Question: The San Andrea is an active fault zone, marked by frequent earthquake activity. The crust southwest of this strike-slip fault (including Los Angeles) is sliding to the northwest relative to the other ...

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 % ...

Seismic Evaluation of Buildings
Dr.G.P.Ganapathy, VIT University, Vellore 632014, India
Check list to retrofitting of buildings based on Rapid Seimic evaluation of the buildings

Role playing the 2009 L'Aquila Earthquake and trial to debate responsibility for communicating and understanding risks and natural hazards
Amber Kumpf, Muskegon Community College
In this activity, students reenact key events leading up to and following the 2009 L'Aquila Earthquake and trial. This leads into a debate on responsibility for communicating and understanding risks and natural hazards.

The 2014 La Habra earthquake: Teaching Risk and Resilience in Southern California with Citizen Science
Danielle Sumy, University of Southern California
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.

Back-of-the-Envelope Calculations: Energy Released in an Earthquake
Barb Tewksbury, Hamilton College
Question A magnitude 8.5 earthquake (such as the 1964 Good Friday earthquake in Alaska) releases about 1x1018 joules of energy. The atomic bomb exploded over Hiroshima released about 1.5x1013 joules of energy. How ...

2004 Asian Earthquake and Tsunami Disaster Project
Char Bezanson
Students are employees of a unit of the United Nations responsible for coordinating disaster relief after a major disaster (the 2004 Asian Earthquake and Tsunami) occurs. The agency needs to understand the ...

Mapping Plate Boundaries
Rurik Johnson (Plymouth Middle School)
Students can discover plate boundaries by plotting different sets of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions on maps. These are then stacked on the overhead projector, outlining the tectonic plates. -

Explaining Seismic Hazard Probabilities
Mary Savina, Carleton College
This activity asks students to explain earthquake hazard probabilities to a lay audience of citizens, government officials and others.

Earthquake Magnitude: How Can We Compare the Sizes of Earthquakes?
Laura Wetzel, Eckerd College
Spreadsheets Across the Curriculum module. Students build spreadsheets to tabulate and graph seismic wave amplitude and energy release to explore the logarithmic scale of earthquake magnitude.

ConcepTest: Continental Earthquakes
Predict which continent experiences the fewest earthquakes per year. a) Antarctica b) North America c) South America d) Asia

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