The University Record, September 3, 1996

Shaking it up in the classroom

Richard Ensign, a MichSeis participating teacher from Crestwood High School in Dearborn Heights, shows a group of elementary school students how a seismometer works.

Photo Credit: Larry Ruff


Nothing livens up an earth science lesson like a good earth quake. Thanks to a program called MichSeis, teachers and students now can monitor the location and intensity of earthquakes around the world with the same real-time seismological data scientists use.

Teachers can either purchase a small seismometer for use in the classroom or access data from the U-M Seismological Laboratory using an Apple Macintosh computer. A software program called SeismoGraf/SeismoView---developed by geology Prof. Larry Ruff and distributed to teachers at no charge---monitors the seismometer 24 hours each day and records the characteristic signal of quakes (magnitude 6.0 or larger) occurring anywhere in the world.

Articles published in the MichSeis quarterly newsletter and on its WorldWide Web page feature the latest information about recent large earthquakes, show how scientists interpret seismographic data, and provide seismology-related experiments and classroom activities.

To review the MichSeis newsletter and see seismograms of recent earthquakes, access the MichSeis home page at http//www.geo.lsa.umich.edu/MichSeis/.