Written by Pavithra Murugan
Earthquakes can be a scary concept for children. By building a seismograph, which is an instrument that is used to measure the details of an earthquake such as its intensity, duration, etc., we can breakdown the concept of earthquakes, and the reason earthquakes occur.
In this activity, we will guide children through the process of making a simple seismograph, which can help them understand the mechanism and principle of the instrument.
Jump to Instructions
Medium-sized cardboard box
Paper or plastic cup
Objects to use as weights (Coins, marbles, etc.)
Earthquakes | Mass | Vibration | Pendulum
Divergent Thinking | Communication
Geoscience | Mechanical Engineering
Special Instructions for Teachers:
Encourage children to explore about earthquakes:
Get the children to learn about the reason of occurrence of earthquakes and the exact science behind it. You can even engage them in a discussion asking whether they've experienced an earthquake and how they felt when it happened.
Additionally, you can also impart knowledge about the plate tectonics theory.
Introduce different variables:
Ask them to try moving the cardboard box in different directions and see the resultant graph on the paper.
Introduce several other variables like dropping different weights around the instrument, and check if it has any effect on the graph.
Encourage children to brainstorm ways to make their instrument more sensitive and accurate.
Question children about earthquake measurement:
Ask children if they know how earthquakes are measured, and ask them to find out more about Richter scale.
You can even teach them the concept of 'Eponyms' and mention that the word 'Richter' is an eponym of the person Charles F. Richter, who found this measuring technique.
Impart knowledge about essential safety measures during earthquakes:
Apart from all the direct learnings, you can also conduct a discussion to learn what children know about the required safety measures during an earthquake, and elaborate on what needs to be done when one occurs.
Have fun making and share the works of your students with the hashtag #projectprayogshala to get featured!
#seismograph #earthquakes #geology #diyseismograph #makerspacekids #makermovement