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Hands-on Demonstrations

These hands-on demonstrations can be used for informal and formal group events such as school visits, museum presentations, science days, or for at-home exploration.

Hands-on demonstrations are an effective way for novice learners, whether they are students, public, or museum visitors, to experience geoscience processes. UNAVCO and community members have developed hands-on demonstrations of a variety of geophysical processes highlighting the geodetic techniques used to measure these processes. These demonstrations illustrate how observations of changes at the Earth’s surface can be observed, quantified, and inform us about forces within the Earth that we can’t see. They also emphasize the societal impact of research related to each Earth process.

  • Description
  • Science with Flubber: Glacial Isostasy

    Using two sets of flubber, one representing the Earth and one representing a glacier, demonstrate how the crust sinks and rebounds to the weight of a glacier, and how this motion can be measured using GPS.

  • Measure a changing volcano

    This hands-on demonstration illustrates how GPS can be used to measure the inflation and deflation of a volcano, and how rocks at the summit weaken and crack to form a crater or caldera.

    A caldera forms as a balloon inflates and deflates under flour.
  • Groundwater and earthquakes

    Simulate how hydrologic changes affect seismicity and explore how the water system and earthquake patterns on a fault can be related.

    Image of the demonstration set up.
  • Tsunami early warning

    Illustrate how geodetic instruments can be used to warn people of an approaching tsunami. This is also a fun game where participants have to save the animals from the incoming water!

    DART buoys are a part of a tsunami early warning system
  • Earthquake early warning

    This interactive activity is great for large audiences and demonstrates how an earthquake early warning system works and the importance of them to hospitals, transportation services, and emergency management.

    GPS sign during the earthquake early warning activity.
  • Make tectonic plates converge

    With springs and a tectonic map of the Pacific Northwest, learn about plate convergence and how this motion is detected with GPS instruments.

    Participant exploring plate convergence using springs.

Last modified: Friday, 17-Nov-2017 18:33:54 UTC


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