Event-Based Science

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What is Event-Based Science?

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Event-Based Science meets National Science Education Standards!


Event-Based Science is a new way to teach middle school science. It is an award-winning, standards-based program in which newsworthy events establish the relevance of science topics; authentic tasks create the need-to-know more about those topics; and lively interviews, photographs, Web pages, and inquiry-based science activities create a desire to know more about those topics.

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Earthquake!Earthquake! is an Event-Based Science module about the dynamic forces that help to shape the surface of Earth. It uses the 1989 World Series earthquake to establish the context for learning about earthquakes and their effects on people and buildings. The task in Earthquake! places students in five different roles on a team responsible for designing a new city for a region of the world where earthquakes are common. As Geologist, Transportation Chief, Utilities Director, City Planner, Architect, and Civil Engineer each team of students will choose a location and designing an earthquake-resistant city.

NSTA Recommends Earthquake!

As with all Event-Based Science modules, much of the information you need is provided in Earthquake!. Up-to-the-minute information about current earthquakes along with seismologic data will add to the authenticity of your study. In addition you can learn about past earthquakes and the damage they caused. You can also find world maps of earthquake zones to help you choose a location for your city, then actually draw a map using www resources.

The section below contains a list of World-Wide Web sites where information is available about earthquakes around the world. Point to and click on the highlighted words to be linked with general earthquake information as well as events happening right now!

Earthquake! has two remote-sensing activities sponsored by NASA.

Earthquake! Resources

A "pdf" file containing web sites, books, material lists, and correlations with National Science Education Standards.
Use the BACK button in your browser to return to this page.


One way to engage your students in the topic of earthquakes is to have them support families who were directly affected by a recent earthquake. Begin your search for ways to help with these two organizations:


Salvation Army

EBS Breaking News

Click here to use Google News to search and browse 4,500 continuously updated news sources for breaking news about earthquakes.

Links To Earthquake! Related Web Sites
(Links are checked monthly. They were working on the date of the last update.)

  • Virtual Earthquake is an interactive computer program designed to introduce you to the concepts of how an earthquake EPICENTER is located and how the RICHTER MAGNITUDE of an earthquake is determined. The Virtual Earthquake computer program is running on a Web Server at California State University at Los Angeles.

  • When Rivers of Rock Flow Tells about the threat of Lahars on the slopes on Mt. Pinatubo.

  • ABAG is a wonderful earthquake site to explore. It is maintained by the Association of Bay Area Governments, so its information deals with the San Francisco Bay area of California, but it is a great resource.

  • A New Map of Global Tectonic Activity Using a number of global databases, hundreds of research reports, satellite photos and modeling technology, a group of NASA researchers has constructed a complete tectonic map of the globe -- and it is now available online.

  • Musical Plates is an Internet-based multidisciplinary project which will enrich a student's learning experience through "unique and compelling" applications of instructional technology. In particular, this project taps into some of the exciting new applications of the Internet in education by having students access real time earthquake data, interact with experts online, and publish their own work to the project web site. (This project is developed and managed by the Center for Improved Engineering and Science Education (CIESE) which is located at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey.)
  • Guardian Insurance  has lots of information about earthquake safety and preparedness.
  • The Triangle of Life is a controversial theory about how to survive a major earthquake, typically promoted through viral emails. The theory advocates methods of protection very different from the mainstream advice of "drop, cover, and hold on" method widely supported by reputable agencies. Provide your students with both sides and have them debate both the issue.
  • Ask A Geologist is a web page where you can ask a geologist a question related to your study. You must leave your email address to get an answer.

World Series Earthquale KRON-TV

Video of the Eureka earthquake northern California (January 2010)

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Created by Frank Weisel