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Earthquake Lesson: Introduction to the Quake-Catcher Network and Lab - Activity
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High School (Grade 9-12)
The Quake-Catcher Network is a program for installing inexpensive ground motion sensors in classrooms, homes, museums, and anywhere a desktop computer may be placed. This activity reviews the concept of acceleration and then introduces students to a sensor that records acceleration. The lab exercise leads the students through several exploratory questions and suggestions and ultimately asks them to consider what this sensor is used for outside of the classroom. This activity requires advance preparation to order the sensors, as noted in the Description and Teaching Materials (below).
This activity is intended to begin with the lab exercise and then use the slides in a follow-up discussion to describe the Quake-Catcher Network.
The lab exercise requires an accelerometer. These can be obtained for classroom use from the Quake-Catcher Network for an inexpensive shipping cost (limit of 3, contact information in References, below). This activity can also be modified to use accelerometers built-in to many laptops these days with the free QCN Live software (see References to determine if your laptop has an accelerometer).
No answer key is provided; this lab exercise is meant to be experiential. Additional information about the QCN sensors can be found on their website.
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