Idea Bank: Connecting Students to Seismic Wavesby: Michael Hubenthal

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Have you ever wanted your Earth science students to have a controlled, concrete experience to learn about earthquakes? SeisMac, a free Mac OS X application, can help students develop a concrete foundation for learning about earthquakes. SeisMac turns a MacBook or MacBook Pro laptop computer into a seismograph without any additional peripherals. This application of accelerometers in the Earth science classroom can be extended beyond the Mac audience through the substitution of commercially available probeware systems that offer three-component accelerometers.

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Reviews (2)
  • on Tue Apr 05, 2011 10:14 AM

This is a fantastic article that introduces seismic activity freeware for Macs running OSX. In light of the recent seismic activity in Japan, this is an excellent resource to use to show students how geologists can "see" when the Earth moves. As soon as I read this article, I downloaded the software, and as a teacher in a seismically active area, I look forward to using this with students.

Maureen Stover  (Seaside, CA)
Maureen Stover (Seaside, CA)

  • on Fri Oct 28, 2011 9:13 AM

This article talks about an open source, free Mac software that helps students understand energy generated by earthquakes. Unfortunately, this is only available for a Mac. It is called SeisMac. For areas of the US where there is no activity, students can create the effect by jumping up and down next to the computer. For areas of the US with seismic activity they can actually record this activity through the use of this free program. The author points out that the 2.0 version has many improvements. It almost makes one wish they had a Mac but borrowing one might be the way to go.

Adah  (San Antonio, TX)
Adah (San Antonio, TX)

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