Wiggle Watcher World Activities

NOTE:  Use of these activities is free for all teachers in Lincoln County, Oregon.  For information on how to checkout an activity, click HERE .

Section 1:  Our Dynamic Earth
Activities illustrate the composition of the Earth, and give an introduction to plate tectonics, including the historical events leading to its discovery.  Also covers  plate boundary types and convection cells in the earth.

Section 2:  Where in the world are we?
Introduction to maps , reading contour maps, map projections, latitude and longitude, and GPS.  All culminating in the mapping of earthquakes.

Section 3:  Layers, Faults and Folds
Covers types of faults, layering in the Earth and folding.  Also discusses the dynamic forces in our Earth which cause these layer deformations.

Section 4:  Introduction to Earthquakes
Talks about the elastic behavior of rocks; the concept of brittle and ductile rock types; and the mechanisms in the Earth which cause earthquakes.

Section 5:  Earthquakes in the Pacific Northwest
In this exciting section kids learn how scientists discovered that the Pacific NW is prone to great earthquakes.

Section 6:  Seismic Waves
Lots of fun activities here.  Kids create their own “human waves”, and then use Slinkies© to illustrate different types of waves.

Section 7:  Introduction to the Seismograph
Kids learn about how scientists measure earthquakes.  They even build their own seismometers – several activities are available which focus on different age groups.  Advanced students even build their own electronic circuit which amplifies earthquake signals!

Section 8:  More about seismographs
Activities for this section continue in the investigation of seismographs.  Kids learn to “read” a webcorder from seismographs posting their data online.  They have an opportunity to see and touch several types of seismometers … including professional seismometers similar to those used by the USGS (United States Geological Survey).  And, schools have an opportunity to have their own seismograph installed at their school!

Section 9:  Where is that earthquake?
Lots of fun activities for kids to learn how scientists locate an earthquake.  From the very simple  activity to an advanced activity where kids use real seismic data to determine an earthquake location.

Section 10:  Interpreting seismograms
Seismologists affectionately call them “wiggles”,  but whatever you call them, they are fun to analyze.  Kids learn to be “wiggle pickers” and will be able to tell much about an earthquake, even with a quick glance at a seismogram!

Section 11:  How big was that earthquake? (All about magnitudes)
Scientists use a variety of methods to describe how big an earthquake was.  Kids will not only learn about magnitudes, but they will even be able to determine the magnitude of an earthquake from a real seismogram!

Section 12 – Magic Waves
Its all done with mirrors!  Yes, kids will have a great time learning how seismic waves reflect and bend.  What fun!

Section 13:  Journey to the center of the earth
How do scientists really know what is inside the Earth?  Well, here kids learn the answer … using earthquakes!  Yes, scientists learned the composition of the Earth using earthquake data.  Kids will use models to see this in action.  This is one of the most dazzling activities.  Nobody is bored with this one!

Section 14:  Cascadia on the move
In these activities, Kids learn about earthquakes in their own backyard.  Oregon and the Pacific NW have some of the most dynamic and exciting tectonics around!

Section 15:  Building Strong Buildings
Build and destroy!  Kids always love these activities.  They learn about methods that engineers use to make buildings “earthquake proof”.  They learn about resonance and how it can lead to building collapse.   And, they use these skills to create their own building and test it on a shake table!

Section 16:  Earthquake hazards – Soil types, liquefaction and landslides
Kids learn about three of the most significant factors creating damage and death during an earthquake. 

Section 17:  Earthquake hazards – Tsunamis
One of the biggest hazards on the Oregon Coast is not just an earthquake, but the tsunami that can follow.  Kids will learn how they are created and how not to be a victim.  They will even see core samples of tsunami sands from the 1700 earthquake in the Pacific Northwest!

Section 18:  Pulling it all together – A really big earthquake in Chile
An analysis of the great 2010 earthquake in Chile provides a perfect opportunity for kids to use their newly learned skills.  A wonderful summary and wrap-up!

Section 19:  All about volcanoes
You can’t talk about earthquakes without including volcanoes.  One of the most fun and instructive demonstrations is included.  And it has everybody’s favorite foods … chocolate and Jello©!

For information about this website, contact kwyatt@geocouple.com


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