The Seismometers at School Sites (S@SS) program engages high school students and teachers in using seismic monitoring to characterize school site shaking. Students help collect and analyze data from multiple school sites to compare shaking in response to seismic noise sources and nearby (typically small) earthquakes. Sites are ranked in terms of site shaking responses. Students and teachers then accompany structural engineers who examine school structures for seismic hazards (or consider previous analyses) and prepare reports and presentations for school district officials, including school boards and administrators. In addition to learning some fundamentals of seismology, students develop mathematical and computational skills to help characterize individual school sites, and communications skills in preparing and presenting reports. Students gain experience at the intersection of science and public policy by serving as advocates for retrofitting or remodeling schools to survive large earthquakes.
S@SS is built upon the substantive efforts of others to bring hands-on study of earth sciences and seismology into the middle and high school classroom, notably:
- The Princeton Earth Physics Project (now at Indiana University): http://www.indiana.edu/~pepp/about.html
- The Institutions for Research in Seismology (IRIS) Seismometers in Schools program: http://www.iris.edu/hq/sis (which includes links to many educational resources).
Schools with Planned Seismometer Installation: