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Revisiting your classroom’s walls: The pedagogical power of posters

IRIS is keenly interested in ensuring that all its products and programs are highly effective.  This whitepaper, generated from ongoing work examining posters in classrooms, presents five  strategies or “tips” to maximize the educational value of posters in light of what we know about the learning process and the complex relationship between the learning environment and students.

Download the .pdf here


Developers of educational posters might also be interested in our poster design framework which was developed from research into both cognition and the design of multimedia.

Hubenthal, M., O’Brien, T., Taber J. (2011). Posters that foster cognition in the classroom: Multimedia theory applied to educational posters. Educational Media International, 48(3), 193-207.


Earthquakes... like ripples on water?

An earthquake can be compared to a water drop that is suspended from a faucet and falls into a pool creating ripples.  Like the drop that falls, earthquakes result from the sudden conversion of potential energy, stored elastically in rocks, to kinetic energy.  Then, like the ripples on water, the released energy travels outward, through Earth in all directions, as seismic waves.  Seismic waves propagate by temporarily deforming the ground. Sensitive instruments called seismometers detect and record these ground changes. Ground deformations following an earthquake were recorded at nearly 400 seismometers and combined to create the visualization in this poster.

Download high-resolution file | 16 Mb PDF

Associated classroom activity
Associated student exploration page


A Century of Earthquakes

On April 18, 1906 a powerful earthquake shook San Francisco leading to fires that devastated the city. That earthquake brought seismology into the forefront as a science in the U.S. This poster outlines the lessons learned from the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and discusses 100 years of large earthquakes, including the Sumatra earthquake that caused the devastating tsunami.

Download high-resolution file | 14.7 Mb PDF


Sumatra - Andaman Island Earthquake

This assembly of seismograms displays the vertical movement of the Earth's surface due to seismic waves generated by the earthquake. The seismograms are plotted with respect to time since the start of the earthquake on the horizontal axis and are sorted vertically according to distance from the epicenter in degrees.

Download high-resolutioin file

English  | 13.1 Mb PDF

Spanish | 13.1 Mb PDF

Portuguese | 10.3 Mb PDF (translation courtesy of Susana Custódio, Instituto Dom Luiz)



Exploring the Earth Using Seismology

Earthquakes create seismic waves that travel through the Earth. By analyzing these seismic waves, seismologists can explore the Earth's deep interior.

On January 17, 1994 a magnitude 6.9 earthquake near Northridge, California released energy equivalent to almost 2 billion kilograms of high explosive. The earthquake killed 51 people, caused over $20 billion in damage, and raised the Santa Susana Mountains north of Los Angeles by 70 centimeters. It also created seismic waves that ricocheted throughout the Earth's interior and were recorded at geophysical observatories around the world. The paths of some of those seismic waves and the ground motion that they caused are shown in this poster.

Download high-resolution version (English) | 39.6 Mb PDF

Spanish version available

Portuguese version available with translation by the Center for Geophysics of the University of Coimbra.


History of Seismology 

The History of Seismology Depicting original sketches, photographs and colorful new imagery, this poster captures the major milestones of the development in the field of seismology. Seismology's rich history begins with Robert Hooke's 1676 paper titled "True Theory of Elasticity or Springness" and continues through the 1830 discovery of P and S waves, the 1930's discovery of the inner core by Inge Lehman, and includes recent innovations such as shake maps, real-time collections of maps depicting shaking intensity within seconds of an earthquake.

Download high-resolution file (English) | 25.6 Mb PDF

Portuguese | 24.9 Mb PDF (translation courtesy of Susana Custódio, Instituto Dom Luiz)