Earthquake Machine 3—Investigating earthquake prediction: ADI-style activity


Students work in small groups to use a physical model, the earthquake machine, to examine the occurrence of earthquakes and the inputs and outputs of fault systems. Their task is to design and carry out an investigation(s) to explore the three elements of earthquake prediction (When?, Where?, How Big?) and the challenges to making such predictions.  Following a Argument-Driven Inquiry (ADI) instructional approach students analyze data collected through their investigation and collectively develop a tentative argument to address the guiding questions. Their claim, evidence and justification are sketched out on whiteboards for a class “poster session”. Following this, a teacher led discussion of their investigations and resulting data helps students to connect their investigations to broader Earth science concepts and ensures core content is addressed. The instruction is wrapped up through an individual writing assignment and double-blind peer review process. 


Students will be able to:

  • Analyze and interpret data on seismic hazards to forecast future catastrophic events and inform the development of technologies to mitigate their effects.


Total Time: 4h
Level: Novice


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