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Others Like “Is There a Whole Lot of Shaking Going On? Make Your Own Seismograph and Find Out!”

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
Did you know that waves travel through the Earth's crust all the time? One major source of these waves is earthquakes, although ground motion can also be caused by something man-made, such as a mine blast or nuclear explosion, or other natural events, such as landslides or volcanic activity. How does an earthquake cause these waves? 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… Read more
Geo_p007
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites Familiarity with software and instruments used to collect and analyze data from sound waves is helpful.
Material Availability A sound generator and amplifier that can connect to a loudspeaker are required. An accelerometer is also needed that can interface with computer software to measure the amplitude of sound waves.
Cost High ($100 - $150)
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 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 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 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 Have you ever wondered how a radio can grab signals that are transmitted through the air and convert them into sound? In this science project, you will build your own AM radio receiver from scratch and use it to listen to AM radio broadcasts. With your crystal radio you will be able to experiment with the circuit and the antenna to get the best reception. Read more
Elec_p014
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites To do this science project, you must live in an area where you can receive at least one strong AM radio station. You can check for this with a car or portable radio.
Material Availability Specific circuit items are required. A Science Buddies kit is available for your convenience. See the Materials and Equipment list for details
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety Never operate your crystal radio during a thunderstorm. When not in use, always disconnect your antenna from the radio circuit, and connect it directly to the ground rod. Be sure to wear safety goggles when installing the ground rod, especially if you are using a metal hammer. An adult's help might be necessary for some steps in the Procedure.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Foundations for many types of structures rest on soil. This project shows how you can investigate the bearing capacity of different types of soil. Read more
CE_p009
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
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
thumbnail Earth is an amazing planet. It has everything that we need: food, shelter, and water. Sure, we need water to drink, but have you thought about using water to create energy? Moving water has a lot of energy and all we need to do is to harness it. Moving water made the Grand Canyon. That took a lot of energy! In this science fair project, you will demonstrate the power of water by converting the kinetic energy in moving water to mechanical energy, which will lift a small weight. Read more
Energy_p021
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Material Availability A drill is needed.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety An adult's help will be required to drill holes.
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