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NEES@UCSB participates in a Science Night at Washington Elementary School in Santa Barbara

Posted in Announcements

NEES@UCSB works with area K-12 classrooms several times a year, either with the schools visiting the NEES site or NEES representatives visiting the schools, rotating among schools so all get the chance.

NEES@UCSB recently participated in two Science Nights at area elementary schools in the Santa Barbara area: Hollister School on March 4, 2010, and Washington Elementary School on April 15. The events were held during the evening and were open to students and their families. The Washington Elementary School Science Night attracted more than 400 participants. The featured activity, Make Your Own Earthquake, is hugely popular and entails the students each jumping on a special pad which records the "quake" the student made on a seismograph. Each child takes home a seismogram with their name on it.

"Make Your Own Earthquake is probably the most popular stop of the evening, with some students coming back as they love it so much," said Hank Ratzesberger, Network & Technical Support & Designated Field Site Safety Officer, NEES at UCSB. "The Quake Maker is an accelerometer, digitizer and laptop computer running seismic acquisition software. It is spare professional equipment that measures the ground movement generated by children's jumping."

"The other popular activity is the Fault Frogger, which is a pulley system of bricks on a rough surface. More bricks represent more friction on a fault, and consequently greater release of energy when the stress overcomes the friction. Students build stress by cranking a pulley and the distance the bricks move is measured," she said. "Various kinds of faults are explained through painted blocks of wood. The blocks have a diagonal cut on one side to explain normal and thrust faults. The straight sides together explain strike-slip faults." For more information on the educational activities conducted by NEES@UCSB, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..