Learning about seismology

The Central Oregon Coast NOW Foundation, with the help of a grant from the Siletz Tribal Charitable Contribution Fund, is sponsoring this camp!

BY DENNIS ANSTINE   

For the News-Times

Earthquake camp

Girls from a previous Earthquake Camp

       

Considering the possibility of an earthquake and tsunami striking the Oregon coast, next week’s Earthquake Camp for 10 Lincoln County middle school girls is timely.   

Retired seismologist Kay Wyatt will hold the hands-on, three-day event on July 18-20 at the Lincoln City campus of Oregon Coast Community College.   

The class, sponsored by the Central Oregon Coast Chapter of the National Organization for Women (COCNOW), will include each girl building a seismometer capable of recording   quakes from all over the world.   

“The camp is a huge handson activity for the girls,” said Wyatt, a Depoe Bay resident who has been offering electronics outreach and emergency response classes since moving to the Oregon coast 14 years ago.    “They will be involved in step-by-step learning about earthquakes in a class that is designed for them to have fun,” she said. “It’s a good way to encourage girls to consider careers in sciences.”   

The students will learn how to read a seismometer that they build themselves on   a “shake table” and how engineers strengthen buildings to increase their resiliency to earthquakes.    A small motor will be connected to each table, and the students will be able to control the intensity of each staged event.       

“It’s a great experience because each student learns how to build a simple amplifier circuit capable of recording nearby quakes and how to read a seismometer as it wiggles,” Wyatt said.   

They’ll also learn how to locate a nearby quake and the hazards involved, such as liquefaction and ground amplification, and how to demonstrate different types  of seismic waves by using a Slinky.    They will also build their own “vibration detectors” and then test them with electronic equipment that’s available during the class.   

Wyatt said each girl will take home the amplifier and an emergency preparedness kit loaded with supplies they put together themselves.   

“The camp will be a blast for them and help build their confidence in STEM (science, technology, engineering   and math) activities,” said Wyatt, who spent much of her career traveling all over the world studying its structure.    “I’ve done this class for boys and girls together,” she added, “but this one’s just for girls because sometimes they are less intimidated and can build their confidence better without boys.”   

For more information about the class, contact Janice Eisele at 503-965-9950 or janeisele@mac.com  

Newport News Times, July 13, 2016 Edition, Section B1

 

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