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Are We On Solid Ground?


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This is a recertification class for high school science teachers learning how to duplicate the lesson "Are We on Solid Ground" for their 9 - 12 grade students. The curriculum areas are High School Earth Science, Physical Science and Physics and the subject is Earthquakes. The length of delivery for the teachers to their students is 4 weeks, 3 hours per week.  The length of the class for the teachers to learn the skills necessary to teach this unit is 45 contact hours for recertification.

Beginning/Getting Started

This project is for 9-12 science teachers to use with their students during Earthquake Awareness Week which is during the month of April.  The project is introduced to the teachers to show them creative ways to integrate technology into their classroom with their students and to offer technology support for them in using this project.  To test the prior knowledge of the teachers on earthquakes and technology, the teacher uses a graphic organizer and the KWHL technique to hold a group discussion on earthquakes.  The technology skills of the teachers are assessed by a technology pre-assessment known as the Mankato Scale. The teacher discusses some of the devatasting earthquakes from around the country and the fact that their are two fault lines in South Carolina.  Also, a discussion begins on the earthquake in Charleston in 1886.  The teachers are the students in this case, so they will be expected to create the projects and finish the lessons just as if they were the students in their classes.  (From here, the teachers will be referred to as the students)  The teacher explains that the project will be to create public awareness projects for the community which include: a pamphlet, web page, and video segment.  The students are grouped according to their project interest.  There will be no more than four students in a group.  The groups will also tried to be grouped based on the technology levels of the students.  For example, a novice user will be with a student possessing technological skills. The teacher then shows the students web sites on earthquakes and list of resources for the students to begin their work.

Middle/In Progress

The students brainstorm questions as a class in which they would like to ask the earthquake experts.  The students begin to work as a group to compile the information that they have found on earthquakes.  Based upon the Mankato assessment of the technological skills, the teacher realizes that as a class that creating pamphlets, creating a web page, and successful searching of the internet are topics which need to be addressed.  The teacher trains the students for two hours in the beginning of the day on skills that are necessary to complete their projects.  The class is then divided into their groups for more research.  The teacher is constantly working with individual groups addressing concerns such as not able to find information, skill questions, and the e-mail responses from the experts.  Describe the typical activities students and teachers are doing. The students are using web resources, e-mail to contact experts, word processing program to create pamphlet, web page design program for web page creation.  The teacher is facilitating the work, checking the progress of each group and addressing questions that the groups have.  The students keep a daily journal of the progress made and any problems/concerns that need to be addressed.  These journals are reviewed daily by the teacher.


At the end of the project, the students will share their public awareness projects that they have created with the class.  The students will create a teacher resource book as well for all participants of the class.  These projects are graded according to a rubric that the students designed in the class.  A class roster is created as a resource so others will be there as support when a teacher actually begins this project with her high school students.  The class determines a follow-up date in which to meet after they have implemented this project in their classroom to come back and share what worked well and what areas need improvement.  The projects that their high school students create will be the projects shared with the local community.

Created for the Fermilab LInC program sponsored by Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory Education Office and Friends of Fermilab, and funded by United States Department of Energy, Illinois State Board of Education, North Central Regional Technology in Education Consortium which is operated by North Central Regional Educational Laboratory (NCREL), and the National Science Foundation.

Author(s): Lu Anne Smith
School: BCO Regional Technology Center
            Orangeburg, SC
Created: March 4, 2001 - Updated: March 11, 2001
URL: http://www-ed.fnal.gov/lincon/w01/projects/earthquakes/lgsscenario.html