PSN-L Email List Message

Subject: classroom seismology
From: John Taber taber@........
Date: Mon, 26 Aug 2002 17:59:45 -0400

Some of you may remember a few years ago when Ted Blank and 
Jan Froom brought a group of students to the fall AGU meeting in San 
Francisco to present their earthquake monitoring results.  The 
afternoon was a great success both for the students and the many
seismologists who stopped to talk to the students about their
poster (see Ted Blank's report below).  

There is going to be a session at this year's AGU (Dec 6-10) called
"Geophysics data in the classroom" and it would be a perfect 
chance for the same and/or more schools to get involved.  AGU has
just agreed to waive the abstract submission fee and the 1-day registration
fee for the meeting so the only cost would be the creation of the
poster and transporation to the meeting.  I'm attached a copy of the
session description below.  

Abstracts are due 14:00 UTC on Sept 5, so there isn't much time to prepare
them, but they can be short (and no longer than 2600 characters).  For more
information about abstract submission, see the AGU website
Please contact me or send email to the PSN list if you think you 
might be interested or know of a school that might like to take part.

Special AGU session ED05 - Geophysics Data in the Classroom

Programs that encourage students to make observations of the oceans, the
atmosphere or the solid earth offer the opportunity to capture a
student's innate curiosity for natural phenomena, and this curiosity can
be used as a platform from which a wealth of fundamental principles of
physics and Earth sciences can be taught. Such programs also offer the
research community opportunities to develop geophysical research
networks in areas otherwise not feasible. A number of new initiatives
are working to foster improved communication between academic
researchers, college faculty, and secondary and middle school teachers
to help students utilize geophysical data in a wide variety of
educational settings. The educational geophysics movement also extends
across national borders, with programs in Europe, North and South
America, and the Pacific Rim. This session welcomes presentations on all
aspects of educational geophysics, including classroom activities,
university-school partnerships, local networks, educational software,
and low-cost instrumentation. Presentations from university and high
school teachers and students are particularly encouraged.

John Taber				
E&O Program Manager			Tel: 202-682-2220
IRIS					Fax: 202-682-2444
1200 New York Ave., NW, Suite 800	Email: taber@........
Washington, DC  20005

From the PSN archives:
>Date: Sat, 12 Dec 1998 00:00:10 -0800
>From: Ted Blank 
>To: psn-l@..............
>Today at the Fall Meeting of the AGU, Jan Froom and I "presented" poster
>session U42A-27 entitled "Seismic Monitoring in the Classroom - A
>Complement to the Traditional Middle School Earth Science Curriculum."  I
>have placed the word "presented" in quotes because Jan and I actually did 
>no presenting at all.  All the hard work was done by a group of 12 highly
>motivated and skilled young scientists from our two local schools.  These
>kids did an absolutely incredible job of explaining their involvement with
>seismology in the classroom.  They patiently explained to anyone who 
>stopped by about how to analyze a seismogram to identify P and S wave
>arrivals, how to calculate distance to the epicenter, what plate tectonics
>was all about, how the structure of the earth can be examined by studying
>earthquakes, and how to use the Seismic Long wave In-situ  New Knowledge 
>for Youth (S.L.I.N.K.Y.) device to demonstrate modes of wave propagation 
>through the earth.  They are all apparently expert at operating WinQuake as
>well!  They worked in pairs for 30 minutes each and then spent the rest of
>the time touring the many hundreds of posters being presented on every
>subject under the sun.  When one girl asked me what "correlation" meant I
>knew that at least one of the kids was really reading the posters!  Many
>kids came back during their "off" time to help out their friends.
>We received lots of positive comments about the kids from numerous folks.
>Representatives from IRIS and the AGU Outreach Education project were
>among them.  This is a testament to the professional job these young people   
>did all day.  Many grey-haired seismologists got refresher courses in
>Seismo 101, and most stayed more than 5-10 minutes which is a actually
>quite a long time given how many other posters compete for your attention.
>Many thanks again to Ed Cranswick for sponsoring this session and fighting 
>all the battles with AGU. Larry Cochrane rescued our Internet connection
>and downloaded a copy of WinQuake on the fly (to bail out some dummy who 
>forgot to bring the disk). John Taber, our next door poster neighbor,
>helped out a lot.  We look forward to hooking up with the New Zealand
>Quake Trackers.  Teachers and parents from both schools came along and
>chaperoned the kids around when they weren't presenting (not that they
>needed it).  Thanks to you all. 
>We met Alan Jones as well, which was a real treat.  I've known Alan for
>many years (he's a former IBMer) but only met once long ago.  Alan is the
>author of the Seismic/Eruption and Seismic Waves programs which are used by
>many news stations nationwide as well as having a prominent place in the
>new earth science display at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in
>Washington, D.C.  He was very gracious and let the kids re-educate him on
>seismology from the ground up.
>The comments from our kids on the way home said it all.  They wanted to
>know if there were any more of these meetings soon, and could they come for
>an entire week next time!
>Ted Blank
>San Jose, California


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