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Projects : CUREE-Caltech Woodframe Project

Element 5 - Education & Outreach
Project Manager: Jill Andrews - Caltech (formerly with SCEC)

Appendix 5.1.7 - Instructional Technology Report

[KidZone/ShakeZone Focus Group Meeting #4]


Instructional Technology Expert Group Storyline

by John Marquis, Southern California Earthquake Center

Programs to Support Exhibit

  • Pre/Post Activities for Teachers and Students

    Some, if not all, of these activities could be hosted on the ShakeZone website (see below) for easy remote access. Website could at least host directions/support for completing pre- or post-tour activities.

  • Website: Exhibit Virtual Tour, Links to Earth Science sites, etc.

    A virtual walk-through of the exhibit is an excellent idea for a web-based resource connected with ShakeZone. Done correctly, it could serve both as an enticement to local classes to visit the real thing, and also as a substitute for classes too far away to make the journey.

    Links to other earth-science sites, quality-checked by SCEC staff, are a necessity for building a strong website to accompany this exhibit. These provide teachers a base of support for building upon the exhibit experience upon return to the classroom, or to brush up on earth science concepts before the visit.

    As mentioned above, the website should include a section for pre- and post-visit activities, suggestions, materials, etc. As mentioned below, the site should provide a section full of "links to the curriculum," wherein the aspects of the exhibit that cut across disciplines are noted, and natural extensions are suggested.

  • On-Site Activities for Self- or Presenter-Led Programs

    I see this section as primarily a hands-on section, though we could include a computer display that would serve to illustrate some of the activities in addition to the hands-on components.

  • Merchandise

    Not exactly merchandise, but how about creating an online ribbon, medal, award, banner, etc., that could be displayed on the web pages of teachers/classes/students that have completed a tour of the exhibit?

Links to the Curriculum

This should be a section unto itself on the ShakeZone website. There we can provide actual links to other online information that can be tied into the exhibit where appropriate. An online-accessible list like this could convince undecided teachers that a visit to ShakeZone has a broad range of follow-up opportunities across all disciplines, and that those possibilities are actually supported, not entirely up to the teacher to draft alone.

The Exhibit

Panel 1:

Entry Point 1:

  • Where do I live?: This entire section can be covered by a single interactive display consisting of a very special overhead (map) view of southern California and a "slider" bar. The display starts off (and resets to) a global view of Earth, with simple narrative describing the views and features. As slider bar is adjusted, view changes accordingly, and the narrative follows these changes, again noting the special features easily seen at each scale. This should simulate a smooth zoom, in or out, without actually tackling that immense problem.

Entry Point 2:

  • Global Patterns, Plates: Display allows user to overlay various data sets (earthquakes, volcanoes) upon globe, thus outlining the plates in classic fashion.

  • How do plates move?: Menu of types of plate boundaries and motions, each illustrated by an animation, which in turn is linked to pictures of real-world examples of that kind of boundary.

  • Why do plates move?: Animations of the differences in density of the types of crust and of mantle convection, connected with the resulting plate boundary conditions to explain why all this is happening at the surface.

  • The Earth changes over time: Similar to the zooming view of southern California in entry point one, this could be an adjustable animation of plate motion over the last 225 million years or so. Limited "slider" bar would allow the user to see various "stop" points, and an animation play button would set the entire thing in motion, complete with a countdown clock to the modern day. Maybe some demonstration of the immensity of timescale could accompany this animation?

  • California and the Plate Boundary: Similar to "Global Patterns" (above), with overlay on California map and simplistic representation of plate boundary that is then "fogged" to illustrate the more diffuse nature of the plate boundary and how the plate motion is accommodated by many, many different faults and does NOT just happen along a single perfect "line."

  • Faults, Types of Faults: Draw from existing SCEC materials to create a computerized model fault block and animations of different senses of fault slip. Fault definitions/properties could be linked to brief explanations and illustrations.

  • SoCal Faults; Riverside area: Computer display map of southern California with major faults noted; zoom-in box for Riverside locality with major faults labeled, touch-screen linked to animations of fault slip (above).

Panel 2:

Entry Point 3:

  • What happens when the Earth shakes?: Looping video display of footage and slides showing the effects of notable ("famous") large earthquakes, basically for visual impact and attention-grabbing.

  • How does the shaking get from the fault to my house?: Involved description of the earthquake process, from fault rupture to the arrival of seismic waves at your house! This could be done as a single, looping animation, or as a sort of Rube Goldberg cartoon, with each element capable of being expanded for a more detailed look at that part of the story. The latter allows the viewer to jump in at specific points in the process. Whatever the case, this would require a lot of animation work and would be something of a centerpiece if created. It's possible that the project led by Jim Goltz could contribute animation, etc. to this display.

    From there, visitors would be led to the detector/monitor setup. They would be asked to stand on an "epicenter" marked on the floor and create their own earthquake ("be the fault rupture") by jumping, stomping, etc. They can then see how the shaking is picked up by a detector at some distance from the "epicenter," even though they could not actually see the waves traveling across the floor. The detector sends its signal to a computer for processing, which allows a more accurate simulation of a real earthquake, with the "split" P and S wave arrivals. The record can be printed out, personalized (a simple letter-by-letter or common names menu) and taken home. Yes, this is more complex than I make it sound, but it would be a marvelous addition if completed!

Entry Point 4:

  • Different Types of Buildings, Shaking Response: Looping video/slideshow of different building types (before and after earthquakes?, include CUREe Woodframe test?). Simple interactive design-and-test program that allows kids to try out a variety of building designs against the shaking of an "earthquake" and see how they compare with each other. Have program connect simple models with their real-world analogs, using information/images from CUREe, etc. Could also include the standard height vs. resonant frequency demonstration, though that might be better done in a physical display -- otherwise, it may seem unreal (i.e. it's not obviously intuitive).

  • Other Hazards to Buildings: Another looping slideshow/video connected to the above could be used to show examples of associated hazards like fire, tsunami, liquefaction and landslides. Where appropriate, links to maps and additional information could be placed within the loop to interrupt the display and get more details.

  • Shake Table: Will consult with Curtis Collins to work out specifics, based upon the specs of the final shake table products.

  • Building Materials and Construction Techniques: [I don't see exactly how this differs from the first bullet under Entry Point 4 or the first bullet under Entry Point 5.] A simple looping or menu-driven display of materials used in construction could point out the strengths and weaknesses of each, and how these relate to your safety in a building. Perhaps here we could address the myth about seeking safety in a doorway (a holdover from the days of adobe construction).

Panel 3:

Entry Point 5:

  • What kind of building do I live in?: Looping video/slideshow of common types of residential buildings (e.g. from CUREe images). Clicking/touching at any point brings up more information about that building type.

  • How is a building made safer?: Clickable 3-D house diagram of typical places that can be modified to improve safety (foundation, water heater, etc.). Each click brings up a brief description of why that element of the home is important/vulnerable. (CUREe shake test footage?)

  • Home Hazard Hunt: Interactive touch-screen display -- "What's Wrong with This Picture?" type of game in which kids pick out the hazards in a room shown on the screen. Could have sets of different locations, for home (kitchen, bedroom, living room, etc.) and school (classroom).

Entry Point 6:

  • How do I make a survival kit?: Touch-screen display that allows kids to "construct" virtual survival kits. Assesses their ability to select the right materials in the proper quantities. Print out a completed checklist when virtual kit is correctly assembled - they can take this home and, with parents' help, use it to create the real thing! Checklist can also act as a certificate of completion.

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last updated 03.27.15