Building relationships between scientists, schools and local enthusiasts

The Australian Seismometers in Schools (SIS) programme is a four-year project (2011-2014) funded by the Education component of AuScope Australian Geophysical Observing System (AGOS). Over the next four years SIS will build a network of 40 seismometers installed in high schools across the nation to provide real-time monitoring of the Australian continent and raise awareness of geoscience through observing our dynamic earth in motion. The Australian Seismometers in Schools project aims to:

Raise community awareness of regional earthquakes;

Raise awareness of seismology and, more generally geoscience, as a field of study;

Promote science as a possible career choice;

Provide a tool to teachers to assist in teaching physics and earth science to high school students. Due to the expanse of Australia and remoteness of many communities we require local experts and enthusiasts get involved in the program to provide support and share their knowledge with schools. Students are required to look after their very own seismometer and in doing so be a part of a national science experiment. The project involves e-infrastructure consisting of an online education portal allowing real time access by students to earthquake recordings in their own and other schools. The data schools collect will be useful to researchers and could complement networks run by government and state agencies due to the high quality of the instruments. Long-term storage of data for research purposes will be aligned with community standards at internationally accessible and supported data management centres, such as IRIS. A growing community of institutional and individual volunteers is forming to support the program within their local state or territory. Over the duration of the project this partner network will significantly enhance the project through provision of technical or management expertise as well as promotion within the education sector.

 

Authors: Balfour, .N.; Sambridge M.; O’Neill, .C.
Publication: American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting 2011, abstract #ED13A-0796