Thanks to a public engagement grant from the Institute of Physics and funding from the Friends of the Sedgwick Museum, the Sedgwick Museum has been able to set up a seismological station to record the shock waves created by earthquakes.
This allows us to participate in the Schools Seismology Project, a new initiative run by the British Geological Survey (BGS) which encourages secondary schools to record and use real seismic data from the thousands of earthquakes which occur all over the world each year.
The Sedgwick seismometer has been logging data since early August, and has recorded a number of major seismic events including China, New Zealand and Indonesia. This data will be uploaded to the SSP website and shared with schools all over the UK and the US where a similar project has been running for several years. We are also planning to develop new learning resources about seismology as part of the Heritage Lottery funded Darwin the Geologist project.
As well as buying a seismometer for the Museum, the funding provided project work for this year's Learning and Outreach Prizewinner, geology graduate Joel Gill. During his time at the Museum working with Annette Shelford, the Education Officer, Joel has researched and put together a hands-on science show and experiments for our exciting activity day Seismographics.
He has also worked with local artist Carolynn Cooke to develop some seismic art activities which use some of the physical principles that allow us to measure earthquakes as a starting point. Joel and Carolynn have both consulted with earthquake experts Paul Denton from BGS and Prof James Jackson from the Department of Earth Sciences while planning the activities.