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Research earthquakes and how they are detected and measured then make a simulated seismograph.
Students research the earth processes that result in earthquakes. Look at maps to determine where earthquakes occur frequently. Locate recent earthquakes and find their magnitude. Investigate the science of earthquake detection, including seismographs and the Richter magnitude scale.
Students work in teams of two or three to build a replica of an earthquake detector. Remove the lid from a shoebox. Use a ruler and Crayola® Scissors to cut 4-inch (10 cm) slits in the bottom edges of the two long sides of the box. Students should ask an adult if they need help to cut or align the slits across from each other.
Students cut paper into strips slightly smaller than 4 inches (10 cm) wide. Attach pieces together with clear adhesive tape to form a long strip. Insert the strip of paper into the slits so the ends of the strip extend out of the slits.
Attach two rubber bands around the box so the bands are stretched wide to the sides of the other two slits. Place a Crayola Fine Line Marker between the two rubber bands. Cut two pieces of yarn with scissors and tie the marker into place between the rubber bands so the tip lightly rests on the strip of paper in the box.
Students work together with one partner jiggling the box and the other pulling the paper through to get a continuous reading of the magnitude of the simulated earthquake. Experiment with your own ideas for improving the design of the earthquake detector.
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