Investigate and find out if anyone has a consistent successful way to
predict earthquakes. If not, why were they not successful. Come up with
your own idea for predicting earthquakes, and test it. Explain why it did
or did not work.
Examine earthquake myths and interview people about these myths to find
out what they think. What would be the best way to get rid of myths? Is
there any group of people who tend to believe myths more? Older people?
Younger people? Other groups?
What types of seismic waves are there? What do they look like on a
seismogram (recording)? What effects do different kinds of waves have on
different kinds of buildings?
Make a seismograph.
World-wide earthquake hazards
Which areas around the world are most vulnerable to earthquakes and why?
What are the major problems dealing with earthquakes in different areas?
Investigate the current earthquake risks in your area. If there are none
currently, have there ever been earthquakes there in the past? Why, and
why aren't there any now?
Plate tectonic model
Build a model that simulates plate motions and their effects.
San Andreas Fault
Learn about the different segments of the San Andreas Fault. Demonstrate
how each segment behaves differently and why.
Cut a world map along the plate boundaries, and try to fit the pieces back
together like they were millions of years ago. Observe how each piece has
moved to its current position.
Demonstrate how a tsunami is created.
Make models of different kinds of faults and investigate the tectonic
setting of each (where are these types of faults generally found?).
Try to design a building that can withstand an earthquake. What works?
What doesn't work? Why?
Find the most effective ways to prepare for an earthquake. Test the
effectiveness of different types of earthquake brackets and straps, etc.
Determine the safest places to be inside the house, outside, in car, etc.
Prepare on earthquake plan for your family, class, school.
Monitor earthquakes locally, regionally, or globally, and plot them on a
Locating an earthquake
Show how earthquakes are located. Create a fictional story about an
earthquake and write a news story with a map showing the epicenter.
Stress & strain
Make a model to show how stress and strain affect different materials
(wood, silly putty, etc.)
Earthquakes & volcanoes
Investigate how earthquakes and volcanoes are related.
Magnitude & intensity
Show the difference between magnitude and intensity. What controls the
magnitude of an earthquake? What affects the shaking intensity?
Earthquakes on other planets
Do earthquakes occur on other planets? Which ones? Why or why not?
Other ideas to brainstorm
Interior of the earth, earthquakes & roads, earthquakes &
buildings, earthquakes and the Eastern US, “Ring of Fire”.