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

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Science Fair Project Idea
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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- Less Details
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
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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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
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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- Less Details
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
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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- Less Details
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
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
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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- Less Details
Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
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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- Less Details
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
Have you ever had fun playing with sand and water, observing how little rivers you create carve their way down to the lowest point of the sandbox, backyard or beach? Some meander, others braid, and some carve a path straight down. Hyrdologists (or scientists who study water) do very much the same thing! Only they set up the model in a particular way, so observing their mini-rivers helps them answer questions about how water flow affects the environment. In this geology science project, you… Read more
Geo_p045
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- Less Details
Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None.
Material Availability Readily available. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult help is required to cut the water or milk jugs.
Science Fair Project Idea
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
+ More Details
- Less Details
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
Renewable energy is the energy that is extracted from natural sources, such the Sun (solar), earth (geothermal), wind, and water (hydropower). These sources are renewable because they can be replenished by the same natural sources within a short period of time. Hydropower energy is extracted from moving water, like ocean wave energy and tidal energy. In this energy science fair project, you will make a model of a tidal barrage (also known as a dam) and investigate how emptying the tidal barrage… Read more
Energy_p028
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- Less Details
Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites You will need access to a drill and hole saws.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Minor injury is possible. Use caution when using a drill. Always wear safety goggles when working with power tools. Adult supervision is required.
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