KidsQuake at Westwood Charter Elementary School

Over 200 Los Angeles elementary school students were treated to an exciting hands-on presentation by the nees@UCLA team on March 19, 2007. nees@UCLA presented an outreach program to seven classes of fourth and fifth grade students at Westwood Charter Elementary School. Before the program began, students from all grades milled around the Mobile Command Center truck which was parked on the schoolyard where they queue for classes. The team answered curious questions about the MCC truck, the NEES program and the research we perform.

After the fourth- and fifth-grade classes filed into the auditorium, Dr. Robert L. Nigbor gave a lively and well-received presentation about earthquakes. The engaging visuals and video immediately captured the students' attention, creating eager learners with relevant questions. Dr. Nigbor showed the different types of earthquakes, ground motion and the differing results for structures. He showed earthquake faults relevant to the area and showed how to check the interior of their homes for earthquake-safety. The auditorium presentation was immediately followed by an enlightening round of Q&A.

At the end of the program, the classes enjoyed competing against each other on the schoolyard to see which class would create the largest "KidsQuake" by jumping next to an accelerometer connected to real-time data displays. Steve Kang administered the seismometer test, explaining how earthquakes are measured and answered the students' questions about the MCC truck, the instrumentation, and our field research. Dr. Alberto Salamanca processed the data and gave each class a printout with a class photo, the NEES logo, and their personal "KidsQuake". Teacher evaluations confirmed that the event was a smashing success. The program made a lasting impression and spawned some enthusiastic budding scientists.


MCC parked next to the auditorium


Real-time data displays showing KidsQuake data


Pictures and data plots of each class' KidsQuakes


One of the classes

Presentation shown during visit