Edmond students help monitor seismic activity through new programs

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EDMOND, Okla. – Students at Cheyenne Middle School just got new technology that’s allowing them to help the Oklahoma Geological Survey (OGS) in monitoring earthquakes.

It may look like the students are just having fun, but they’re really collecting important data for the OGS.

“See all the earthquakes, what time, how high it was and where they were located,” Nicolette Johnson, a seventh grader at Cheyenne Middle School, said.

A small piece of equipment came to their classroom earlier this month as part of a pilot educational program through the OGS.

It’s called a Raspberry Shake, and it’s new technology that acts as a seismograph.

“The Raspberry Shake picks up those vibrations and can display it on the computer here,” said Molly Yunker, Outreach Coordinator for the OGS.

That data can be remotely accessed to OGS in Norman to help them gain a broader knowledge of where the seismic activity is happening in the state.

“The students and teachers are really becoming citizen scientists by helping OGS collect real data that can be used to locate earthquakes in our state,” said Yunker.

The goal is to put 100 around the state in libraries, schools and museums on top of the larger seismographs already in place.

“Just seeing the information, like, how you can affect it by jumping or hitting something and how much it can pick up.  It can pick up a pencil dropping anywhere,” Austin Vinall, a seventh grader at Cheyenne Middle School, said.

“We were always near it and we were slamming our hand on the table to see how high it spiked up. Not it’s just how light we can do it and see how much it picks up,” Emma Ferguson, an eighth grader at Cheyenne Middle School, said.

But, there’s a difference in hitting something versus a real earthquake as you can see by the horizontal tornado detection.

If you are interested in participating in this program, call Dr. Molly Yunker at 405-325-7313 or email at yunker@ou.edu.

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