IRIS Professional Development for Teachers

Saturday, March 6, 2010, 4:05pm
Eastern STANYS Section Lab Day at the College of Saint Rose (Albany, NY)

IRIS E&O Staff will present the following activity as part of the Eastern Section of Science Teacher Association of New York - Lab Day; a day long workshop for science teachers in New York.

Full details for the entire Lab Day can be found as part of the registration pdf.

Discover and Measure Earth’s Layered Interior with Seismic Data

In this unique activity, participants will act as students examine seismic evidence to determine that the Earth must have a layered internal structure and cannot be homogeneous. Following this, they measure the dimensions of the core they have just detected.

Using an inquiry approach, students are divided into two teams (theoreticians and seismologists) to test the simplest hypothesis for Earth's internal structure; a homogeneous Earth. Theoreticians create a scale model of a homogeneous Earth and use an average seismic wave velocity to make predictions about when seismic waves should arrive at various points around Earth. Seismologists then interpret actual seismic data from a recent earthquake to determine seismic arrivals at various points around Earth. Following this the two groups then compare and interpret the implications of their data.