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Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever wondered how fast a seismic wave from an earthquake travels? In this geology science project you can figure this out using historical seismograph data that you can collect from the comfort of your own computer. You will use a web interface to a network of seismometers run by the Northern California Earthquake Data Center, at the University of California, Berkeley. From the seismograms you make, you will be able to measure the time it took for the seismic waves to travel from the… Read more
Geo_p016
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Computer with Internet access and printer
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail If you live in an area where earthquakes happen, you might be especially interested in this science project. You will learn how to build your own seismograph and how to use it to detect ground motion. Read more
Geo_p017
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites You will need access to some basic wood shop tools and experience using them for this science project.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult supervision is required when using power tools and taking measurements outdoors near traffic.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever been in an earthquake? What did it feel like? Did you jiggle back and forth? Up and down? Was there a jolt? Or a rolling motion? Come build a house Hansel and Gretel would love to eat, a special table to shake it on, and see how different soil types can amplify shaking. Read more
CE_p023
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Children who are allergic to peanuts should substitute a safe alternative for the peanut butter.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail When an earthquake occurs, seismic shock waves travel out through the earth from the source of the event. The shock waves travel through the earth or along the Earth's surface, and can be recorded at remote monitoring stations. Some of the waves that travel through the earth are blocked or refracted by the Earth's liquid core, which means that monitoring stations located certain distances from the earthquake do not detect these waves. This creates a "seismic shadow" that you can use to… Read more
Geo_p022
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites This project uses the Global Earthquake Explorer program to download and analyze data from a global seismic network. In order to do this project you will need to be comfortable installing and working with a new program on your computer. This project requires a computer with high speed Internet access. You will also need to understand some basic trigonometry. You should be comfortable with determining the lengths of the sides of right triangles when given an angle and the length of one side. Experience looking at seismograms is useful but not required.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail When an earthquake happens, how are scientists able to determine the original location of the quake? In this project, you'll use archived data from a network of seismometers to find out for yourself. You'll create your own seismograms from the comfort of your own computer with an easy-to-use webpage interface. Then you'll analyze your seismograms to determine the distance of the quake from each seismometer station. By mapping your analyzed data, you will be able to determine the location of the… Read more
Geo_p018
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail When an earthquake happens, how are scientists able to determine the original location of the quake? In this project, you'll use archived data from a global network of seismometers to find out for yourself. You will make your own seismograms using the Global Earthquake Explorer program, and then use the seismograms to determine the location of earthquake epicenters. Read more
Geo_p021
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites This project uses the Global Earthquake Explorer program to download and analyze data from a global seismic network. In order to do this project you will need to be comfortable installing and working with a new program on your computer. This project requires a computer with high speed Internet access
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail The theory of plate tectonics revolutionized geology in the 1960's. In this project you can explore the connection between plate tectonics and earthquakes by mapping historical seismic data. Read more
Geo_p020
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites Computer with Internet access. Perseverance.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
The papier-mâché volcano is a real classic, but there are many other ways to make an even more exciting and interesting science project focused on volcanoes! To get started on your own volcano-based science project, you will want to first have an understanding of how volcanoes form. This is related to tectonic plates. The entire outer shell of the Earth, known as the lithosphere, is made up of tectonic plates that are constantly moving. There are seven or eight large tectonic… Read more
Geo_p027
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
Visit the USGS Earthquake Hazards Program to find out about global patterns of earthquake incidents (USGS, 2006). Can mapping earthquakes help identify fault lines? They also have a list of science fair project ideas. Another great resource for earthquake-oriented science fair projects is by Jeffery Barker (Barker, 1994). Build a model to study the forces of an earthquake using sandpaper-covered blocks. What are the forces involved? How are stress and friction in balance along a fault line?… Read more
Geo_p030
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail A tsunami is a series of waves made in a body of water, like the ocean, that can cause serious destruction when they hit the coastline. In deep water, a wave can be just a few feet high and travel very fast. As it nears the coastline, and moves into shallower water, tsunamis usually slow down, but the wave height can grow to 100 feet! In this ocean science project, you will model a tsunami and investigate how wave velocity (speed) depends on water depth. Does it match the mathematical equation… Read more
OceanSci_p014
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability You will need an extra-long plastic storage box to use as a water tank. Plastic storage boxes that can slide under a bed work very well. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Use caution when working with the lamp and the water tank. Make sure the two are far apart from each other at all times. Adult supervision required.
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