The Georgia Educational Seismology Network (GaESN) is a framework to coordinate and enhance seismology in education in Georgia.
Seismology is developing as an effective tool for engaging K-12 teachers and students in research-based learning. The recording of earthquakes in the classroom provides real-time suspense and excitement when an unexpected earthquake occurs. During the last few years, over 10 state level programs have developed, including one at Georgia Tech, to promote and support K-12 seismology. Recently the United States Educational Seismology Network (USESN) was organized to support seismology instrumentation and teaching exercises for K-12 education. The Georgia's seismology program "GaESN" is a partner in the USESN. The GaESN provides a way of integrating our participants and instruments into a cohesive regional and national network. The GaESN is planning workshops to improve the skills of our teachers with seismometers and to increase participation in the program by bringing in new teachers. We will help to make regional earthquake data available to all classrooms, and to help develop teaching exercises that use earthquakes relevant to Georgia’s Quality Core Curriculum.
We have a vision of Georgia’s science students and teachers connected by a statewide network of seismographs. They will be sharing data and learning through interdisciplinary inquiry-based learning, while using state-of-the-art equipment and contributing to national research efforts. Teachers will have new resources to improve their background and to present science in a way that is exciting and relevant to every day experiences.
Major earthquakes are international news events that when recorded or observed in the classroom can make science come alive. Small, local, earthquakes, and even hurricane generated ocean waves (see http://quake.eas.gatech.edu) are also easily recorded using classroom seismometers. These data, when gathered over a wide geographic range and made available over the web, provide teachers with current, relevant material for teaching physics, earth science, geology, mathematics and computer science. The GaESN will make it possible for teachers to record earthquakes in real time and to receive training in the application of earthquakes to problems in physics, math and computing.Georgia Tech has developed the basis for a seismology network by providing instruments for a few teachers and through three training. Georgia Tech will assume the lead roll in providing technical support for seismic networking, in training "lead" teachers, and in assisting teachers in all aspects of networking data and teaching exercises. The lead teachers and Georgia Tech will provide support and training for teachers in schools without seismometers.
We plan to upgrade all existing seismometers now placed in schools (see Fig. 1.0) to full network operation so they can be monitored at Georgia Tech and by neighboring schools. A second objective is to increase and improve the distribution of stations by identifying teachers interested in recording earthquakes (e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested). A wide distribution of recorders is ideal for student research and for locating the less frequent (one every 2 to 5 years) Georgia earthquake. We propose also to implement software that will allow sharing of the recorded data with neighboring schools, (that is with teachers that normally work together in a county or region).
Proposed activities of the GaESN
1) We plan to place our existing Guralp PEPPV seismometers in high schools or middle schools with trained and active "lead" teachers.
2) Provide advanced training for teachers who are actively recording seismic data to assist in utilizing the data. We are planning a two-day workshop to provide expertise in setting up the instrumentation, its computer program and for using the data. (limit of 12 teachers)
3) For our Guralp PEPPV seismometers currently in schools, we propose to convert the recording system to the SCREAM software, the standard expected for USESN, so that local data can be recorded in remote classrooms and at Georgia Tech overt the web.
4) Provide workshop training to middle and high school teachers on recording and using data from the network in teaching. We expect this to be an intense one-day workshop that will allow middle schools and high schools without instrumentation to use seismic data in teaching. Our "lead" teachers will be asked to help run these workshops.
5) We plan to develop a web site for regionally relevant teaching materials and to develop resource materials with specific applications to Georgia's schools
6) Assist in expanding the GaESN to schools with resources to purchase a seismometer.