Baylor University
Department of Geosciences
College of Arts and Sciences

Geology News Items

Local students learn about earthquake hazards during Earth Science Week 2009

Dec. 11, 2009

Approximately 100 5th graders from North Waco Elementary School had the opportunity to learn about earthquake hazards during Earth Science Week 2009. Students worked with 3 different physical models that demonstrated differences in the effects of earthquakes due to local geology (liquefaction), building height (resonance frequency) and building construction. They worked with a 4th model that demonstrated the propagation of P and S waves.

Earth Science Week 2009-1
Baylor's lab coordinator (Sharon Browning) demonstrating setup of the floor and column construction model. This demonstration of the effects of earthquakes on building construction was the favorite of the students.

Earth Science Week - 4
5th graders at North Waco Elementary School adding trusses (silver cross bars in photo) to strengthen a building to be more earthquake-resistant

Earth Science Week 2009 - 2
This photo shows earthquake hazard due to buildings of differing heights. The building in the lower left corner (represented by the wooden squares connected by metal springs) of the photo is swaying wildly, demonstrating what happens when the natural frequency of a building matches the frequency of a seismic wave.

Earth Science Week 2009-3
Students studying the propagation of P and S waves. They can generate both types of motion depending on how the metal spring is initially plucked.