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Living on the edge… of the Cascadia subduction zone: Teacher professional development for a schools-based slinky seismometer network for Lane County, Oregon schools.

  • August 26, 2016
  • 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  • University of Oregon, Willamette Hall
  • 4


Registration is closed

Lane County is vulnerable to the catastrophic shaking and tsunami hazards (at the coast) arising from a very large earthquake off the Oregon coast.  Scientists study these ‘megathrust events’ in a variety of ways, but acquiring seismic data from small local and large worldwide earthquakes is critical to this task.  

The TC-1, or ‘slinky seismometer’ was developed to be deployed in schools, is capable of detecting M6.5 and greater earthquakes worldwide, and can be networked to upload data to an international data repository in real time.  Slinky seismometers use fundamental physics, mathematics and engineering constructs— for example: a mass (magnet) on a spring (slinky) serving as an oscillator (physics);  undertaking graphical ‘variables analysis’ to understand how spring stiffness, hung mass and initial displacement from equilibrium affect the resonant frequency of TC-1’s oscillation (math); or designing this resonance to match the frequencies of seismic signals and thus optimize the device (engineering).

We have developed a series of lessons that delve into both the inner workings of the TC-, and how scientists interpret data from networks of these seismometers.  These will be presented during a series of 3 after-school workshops in late May.  The first 10 participants will receive a slinky seismometer for their school with the possibility also of some funds available to help purchase the associated computers and monitors.  Priority for these seismometers and peripheral funds goes first to past participants of the Lane County Content in Context MSP project.  This workshop is co-led by UO scientists and students, and teachers with previous experience host slinky seismometers in their classrooms.  It is targeted particularly at high schools, but middle school teachers may also participate.

This workshop is sponsored, also, by the National Science Foundation, under grant OCE-1238023, Suport for the Cascadia Initiative Expedition Team.

UO contact is: Dean Livelybrooks (

This event is open to everyone, OSTA Member or not.

However, we respectfully request that if you are, or have been, an OSTA member, that you log in to the website before registering for this event. 

If you have forgotten your password, just select "forgot password" after entering your e-mail address* and a temporary one will be provided.  

*You will need to use the e-mail address that is associated with your membership if you use more than one e-mail address.


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Portland, Oregon

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