News broadcasts showing collapsed buildings, broken bridges and smashed cars help students visualize the hazardous nature of earthquakes.  However, students struggle with understanding how scientists can tell exactly when and where a rupture has occurred because earthquake faults so rarely rupture the surface of the Earth and few students understand how scientists investigate earthquakes through analysis of data collected using technology devices (i.e., seismometers) from around the world. The following exercises were developed by the CyberTEAM project in collaboration with Scripps Institution of Oceanography scientist Dr. Debi Kilb, to support middle school students learning about earthquakes.

exc1

Flash-based Epicenter Location Tool:Exercise #1  
This exercise focuses on helping students recognize the fact that three seismic stations are needed to pin-point the epicenter of an earthquake. By clicking on the triangles (seismic stations), students will have a chance to answer questions with regards to how seismic stations help identify epicenters.

exc2

Flash-based Epicenter Location Tool:Exercise #2 (A Demo)   
This exercise allows students to explore actual seismograms recorded at the stations. For each station, students are asked to move two vertical bars along the seismogram to mark the arrival of the Primary (P) and Secondary (S) wave front.

exc3

Flash-based Epicenter Location Tool:Exercise #3
This exercise further challenges students on the subject of epicenter identification. In addition, students will need to adjust the size of the circle on the Google Map interface to match the distance they determine.