Archive of European Projects

"Developing Seismology" - Teaching seismology in schools
Start date: 01 Sep 2014, End date: 31 Aug 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Context/background The project will a number of organisations working together to develop teaching materials and resources that will enable the teaching of the principles of seismology in the developing world. A key component of the project is looking at how practical "low-cost" materials can be developed for the recording of seismic events. This is seen as especially important in the countries that are less well economically developed, but which are often in seismically active zones. Objectives of the project To work with our project partners to develop a set of materials that are low cost and portable to help with the practical aspects of teaching seismology. This will involve the use of Raspberry Pi computers and "slinky spring" seismometers. The project will look at working with partner schools in India and in Kenya to develop their understanding of seismic risk and giving them practical tools to enable them to take seismic readings and allow them to contribute to the global schools seismic network. Description of activities [1]. Development of computer software to enable Rasperry Pi computers to be used for the recording of seismic signals; [2]. Development of a reliable and robust, yet cheap and accurate seismometer (“Slinky Spring” seismometer); [3]. Collaboration between international partners to enable validation of results obtained; [4]. Opportunities for school students from participating institutions to travel and participate in the development of the project; [5]. Mobilities for the staff involved in the project. Methodology to be used in carrying out the project The project will look at setting up and calibrating “professional” quality seismometers in the school and ensuring that these are linked to the other project partners. These will be linked into the schools seismology network. Raspberry Pi computers will be used to develop the software to be used with the “slinky spring” seismometers. These will be calibrated with the “professional” quality seismometers and the data will be triangulated with the project partners in both the UK and abroad. Once regular and reliable readings can be taken the seismometers will be taken to the partner schools in India and Kenya to test in the field. Further development of the seismometers will be undertaken once the “field trials” have been undertaken. Short description of the results By the end of the project, the project partners will have an increased knowledge and understanding of working together across borders. Torquay Girls' Grammar School will be the coordinating school for the project. Impact envisaged At the end of the project it is envisaged that a practical method of taking seismic readings at a local level in LDC’s will have been developed. This will have a positive impact in terms of the increased awareness of the dangers that are inherent in seismically active zones. Potential longer term benefits In the longer term, having small portable, yet accurate seismometers available in schools in the less developed, yet seismically active zones around the world, could possibly help in saving lives from the risk of earthquake and Tsunami.
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