Richter Scale Teacher Resources

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With earthquakes a regular occurrence all over the world, including a recent one in Haiti, students can learn about these phenomena.
Young scholars identify how to use a scatterplot to compare two sets of data to determine if they are related. Then they identify and describe the definition of regression line (the "line of best fit"). Students also identify how scientists and actuaries use math and data to study earthquake probability.
Students discuss a natural disaster. For this earthquakes research lesson, students discover why earthquakes happen, what happens after an earthquake, and what to do during an earthquake. They discuss some information as a class and work in small groups to find answers to earthquake questions on the internet. This lesson includes the questions for the group activity, resource links, and an assessment guide.
Volcano and earthquake lessons can provide a great way to link science instruction to current events.
Students examine the importance of tsunami warning systems. They read and discuss an article, conduct an experiment in a wave tank, calculate wave velocities of tsunamis, and identify what happens to tsunamis as they approach a shoreline.
Students inspect the causes and effects of earthquakes and examine how seismic waves travel. In this earthquake lesson, students determine where earthquakes happen and why, before determining how to build an earthquake resistant building. They watch a video and discuss fault lines. They simulate the construction by making a building out of toothpicks and gum drops.
Students construct small cities made of sugar cubes, bullion cubes, and gelatin cubes. They experiment with the cubes in order to determine which materials hold up the best against a simulated earthquake. Students explain how earthquake magnitude is measured.
Study earthquakes, the effect they have on the earth, and earthquake preparedness, especially in populated areas such as the San Francisco Bay area with young learners. They discuss the roles geologists, construction engineers and architects, and politicians have with earthquake preparedness and role-play each group in a class forum.
Fifth graders record any earthquake activity throughout the school year on various maps. In groups, they identify a map locating the points given to them by their teacher. To end the lesson, they add the date, strength and damage to each report using the internet to research the information.
In this plate tectonics worksheet, students review concepts such as the types of plate boundaries, the concept of continental drift, sea-floor spreading, earthquakes, and plate tectonics. They match 30 terms with their definitions.
In this plotting earthquake data activity, students use a large world map and given web sites showing the latitude and longitude for the epicenter of recent earthquakes around the world. Students plot 2 weeks of earthquake data indicating the epicenter of each earthquake. Students also indicate the depth of the earthquakes on their maps.
In this decibel instructional activity, students answer 19 questions about amplifiers, circuits and the power gains or losses in these electrical systems.
Students will solve exponential function problems, graph exponential functions, find the value of logarithms, determine future value, and compound interest. In this Pre-calculus lesson, students will use the properties of logs to solve test problems.
In this exponent and logarithm worksheet, students convert equations from logarithm form to exponent form.  They solve exponential equations and examine the graphs.  This 22-page worksheet contains notes and approximately 10 example problems.
Pupils discuss the type of information that they expect to read in news coverage of earthquakes. They explore the devastating aftermath of an earthquake in South and Southeast Asia and research and write their own articles describing the event.
Students study causes, probability and location of earthquakes. They complete a number of activities and look at web pages to examine the characteristics of earthquakes.
Students design an earthquake proof structure and present it to the class.  In this building structures lesson plan students view a video on earthquakes and  explain the sequences that lead up to an earthquake. 
Students utilize the U.S. Geological Service web site. They research the various types of scales used to measure earthquakes and classify different situations on the scale. They write a story about a town that has just experienced a quake.
Students examine three seismograms of a recent South American earthquake recorded by USGS stations. They measure the S-P distance and use a P and S wave travel-time graph to find the epicenter distance for each seismogram. In addition, they use distance to find the epicenter of the earthquake.
Students use the Internet to investigate earthquakes and plate tectonics. In this plate tectonics lesson, students complete a web quest with multiple links and activity types relating to earthquakes and volcanoes. They connect the earthquake and volcano activity worldwide with plate boundaries.

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