Teaching Activities

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Engaging With Earthquake Hazard and Risk
Jennifer Pickering
This introductory activity engages learners in the study of earthquake hazards and the risk these hazards pose to humans in the communities in which we live. Learners will compare three maps of Anchorage, AK, depicting spatial information related to seismic hazards to generate questions about the factors that influence shaking intensity and damage to the built environment during earthquakes.

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Geologic Hazards and the Built Environment
Jennifer Pickering
Collaborative, research-based activity of varying lengths. Main outcome is to identify potential vulnerabilities in the built environment and possible solutions.

Making Community Connections to Co-learn about Earthquakes
Jennifer Pickering
Many people live in regions prone to earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions, but the hazards and risks inherent in our communities may be very different. Making connections with learners from another location is a great way to share knowledge and practice science communication skills. Video conferencing applications like Zoom and Skype make it possible to connect with learners anywhere in the world. This activity provides a simple protocol, and a form for submitting a request to connect with a classroom teacher in Anchorage, Alaska.

Building Shaking —Variations of the BOSS Model
IRIS (Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology), FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Administration), ShakeAlert, Chris Hedeen (Oregon City High School), and ANGLE Project
Building Oscillation Seismic Simulation, or BOSS, is an opportunity for learners to explore the phenomenon of resonance for different building heights while performing a scientific experiment that employs mathematical skills. They experience how structures behave dynamically during an earthquake.

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Earthquake Hazard Maps & Liquefaction: Alaska emphasis
TOTLE (Teachers on the Leading Edge), CEETEP (Cascadia EarthScope Earthquake and Tsunami Education Program), EarthScope ANGLE, and ShakeAlert projects
Ground shaking is the primary cause of earthquake damage to man-made structures. This exercise combines three related activities on the topic of shaking-induced ground instability: a ground shaking amplification demonstration, a seismic landslides demonstration, and a liquefaction experiment. The amplitude of ground shaking is affected by the type of near-surface rocks and soil. Earthquake ground shaking can cause even gently sloping areas to slide when those same areas would be stable under normal conditions. Liquefaction is a phenomenon where water-saturated sand and silt take on the characteristics of a dense liquid during the intense ground shaking of an earthquake and deform. Includes Alaska and San Francisco examples.

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Tsunami Vertical Evacuation Structures (TVES)
Bonnie Magura (Portland Public Schools), Roger Groom (Mt Tabor Middle School), and CEETEP (Cascadia EarthScope Earthquake and Tsunami Education Program)
Students learn about tsunami vertical evacuation structures (TVES) as a viable solution for communities with high ground too far away for rapid evacuation. Students then apply basic design principles for TVES and make their own scale model that they think would fit will in their target community. Activity has great scope for both technical and creative design as well as practical application of math skills. Examples are from the Pacific Northwest, USA's most tsunami-vulnerable communities away from high ground, but it could be adapted to any region with similar vulnerability.

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Base Isolation for Earthquake Resistance
Larry Braile (Purdue University) and TOTLE (Teachers on the Leading Edge) Project
This document includes two activities related to earthquake base isolation. Learners explore earthquake hazards and damage to buildings by constructing model buildings and subjecting the buildings to ground vibration (shaking similar to earthquake vibrations) on a small shake table. Base isolation a powerful tool for earthquake engineering. It is meant to enable a building to survive a potentially devastating seismic impact through a proper initial design or subsequent modifications. The buildings are constructed by two- or three-person learner teams.

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Alaska Earthquake Hazard Inventory & Mitigation Planning
Bonnie Magura (Portland Public Schools), CEETEP (Cascadia EarthScope Earthquake and Tsunami Education Program), and ANGLE Project
In this two-part activity, students/participants first: - Complete a Hazard Inventory for their city or area of interest in the event of a magnitude 7 or larger earthquake and tsunami. - Identify what critical structures and infrastructure will be affected. Then: - Write a summary statement assessing strengths and vulnerabilities of essential services or infrastructure. - Propose actions for mitigating vulnerabilities. - Create an Action Plan to address identified needs.

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Build a Better Wall
FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Administration) and CEETEP (Cascadia EarthScope Earthquake and Tsunami Education Program). Improvements by ShakeAlert.
How can we design buildings to withstand an earthquake? This activity uses simple materials and gives learners a chance to experiment with structures that can withstand an earthquake. Two optional activities explore building damage by subjecting models to ground vibration on a small shake table.

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Be Smart, Be Prepared! Planning an Emergency Backpack
Bonnie Magura (Portland Public Schools), CEETEP (Cascadia EarthScope Earthquake and Tsunami Education Program), and ANGLE Project
Participants learn what to do before, during, and after a potentially damaging earthquake. They brainstorm valuable components for an emergency supplies backpack and then present on their ideas. The primary resource is the booklet Are you prepared for the next big EARTHQUAKE in Alaska?

Geologic Hazard Community Action Plan (Capstone Presentation)
Jennifer Pickering
Culminating activity in which action teams collaborate to make a presentation to a City Council, School Superintendent, etc. about a problem in the community that needs to be addressed.

Landslide Hazard Site Assessments
Beth Hallauer, Sinclair Community College
In this project students will first research the landslide-prone Seattle area using provided websites to gather background and perspective for the second part of the assignment. In the second part of the assignment ...

Old Sticks in the Mud: Hazards of Lahars from Mount Rainier Volcano
Patrick Pringle, Centralia College
Volcanic debris flows (lahars) flow long distances, bury and aggrade river valleys, and cause long-term stream disturbances and dramatic landscape changes. Students will evaluate the nature, scale, and history of ...

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Measure a Changing Volcano
UNAVCO
This hands-on demonstration illustrates how GPS can be used to measure the inflation and deflation of a volcano. Volcanoes may inflate when magma rises closer to the surface and deflate when the pressure dissipates or after an eruption.

Case Study: Zhouqu, China Landslide
Robin Humphreys, College of Charleston
This is a 'citizen science' research project where students to apply their knowledge of landslide processes in an investigation of the natural and anthropogenic causes of a real-world landslide ...

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