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Using PEPP with Physics and Earth Science Classes
This activity assumes that your school has an operating PEPP system and that students in physics and earth science classes are involved to some degree in learning about seismology, either in a formal unit or through activities integrated into the classes. The purpose of this outline is to suggest some things that might be done to encourage the development of a successful PEPP program at your school. The PEPP team ideally will have participation by teachers in both physics and earth science. Teachers from the two areas should share resposibility for operation of the PEPP station.
Computer suitable for running PEPP software
Printer to print seismograms
Data storage (e.g., zip disks, floppy disks, CD-R)
SCREAM (preferred) or Quakes data accquisition software
GCFInfo (used with SCREAM) software to cut PEPP files
SWAP or WinQuake software to analyze PEPP files
Large laminated world map
introduction to basic ideas about earthquakes and seismology. Expect that
students will learn more from the operation of the station and from later formal instruction.
easily observable and can be accessed easily by team members and yet remain secure. A classroom or hallway display case work well.
station. Use posters, diagrams, photos etc. Involve many team members.
comfortable with all aspects of handling the data from the seismometer. They should be able to: download SCREAM (or Quakes)data to disk; get earthquake information from DRMs or USGS sources; use GCFInfo to examine data for events, cut files and save in PEPP format; print seismograms from GCFInfo; open PEPP files in SWAP or WinQuake, print seismograms, and begin to identify features such as P and S waves.
the captain the primary trainer as much as possible. Student involvement is a prim ary goal.
downloading data, checking for events, etc. The team captain should be responsible for working out a daily schedule with the members of their team.
day and who does it. Save all identified earthquakes in a designated file. Print and label seismograms for each identified event. Archive the daily data records as you wish. Monitor the students activities but try to leave them in charge as much as possible.
with data about the event and with the name of the student who identified it.
ways to promote interaction between physics and earth science classes.
problems, resolve conflicts, etc. Ask for suggestions to improve PEPP operations.
approval for all activities involving students and the press, etc.
This activity was tried out at Northview High School with Jeff Sayers' Physics classes and Carole Mayrose's Earth Science classes during the 1999-2000 school year. It will be continued during 2000-20001. The PEPP instrument at Northview is located in an external vault. Data is collected and stored on two computers. One is located in Jeff Sayers' physics prep room. The second is located in a display case in the hallway outside the physics classroom on the 2nd floor and is easily accessible by students (with a key). SCREAM is running on both systems. Earth Science classes are taught in a classroom on the 1st floor in the Social Studies hallway. Large laminated world maps are posted in the hallway near Carol Mayrose's classroom.
During the past school year 21 students were involved in operating the Northview High School Seismic Station. Three students from AP Physics were selected as team leaders and students were divided evenly into three teams. These teams were responsible for the day-to-day operation of the Northview station throughout the year. In general, the activity went very well. Student interest was very high initially and was sustained throughout the school year until the spring. Senior team members became "less focused" as graduation day came closer and team activity fell off. However the overall results were very good. Students were able to identify around 50 earthquakes during the course of the school year, including several small events of local interest. Students showed a lot of interest in learning about seismic activity in physics classes and in earth science classes but we did not get as much interaction as we had hoped for.
Locating the PEPP monitor showing li ve data in a hallway display case created a lot of interest throughout the school. Students and teachers were continually aware of what was on the display and contacted us frequently when they saw major changes in the display. Three major earthquakes were observed "live", creating a lot of excitement. The map display showing the locations of identified events was very successful in atracting attention also. Several students expressed interest in joining the PEPP team next year. We will continue the activity and hope to improve it each year.
Publicity throughout the year included three different articles on the Northview PEPP Station in local and area newspapers, a telephone interview with the Indianapolis Star and a short spot on a Terre Haute,IN TV station.
Northview now has Internet access for it's classroom computers but student access is limited and there is no ftp capability yet. All file DRM's and file uploads are handled by Jeff Sayers at home. We hope to improve that situation next year.
Jeff Sayers, Physics
Carole Mayrose, Earth Science
Northview High School
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