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Get Your Own Earthquake Sensor, and Other Temblor Tips

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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Credit: Old Shoe Woman, via Flikr

If you live anywhere between North Carolina and Connecticut, chances are you felt the earth shake a couple of hours ago. If you have kids, they are probably asking you lots of questions–or will be, soon. Here are some resources to help you answer them, adapted from the blog of the National Science Teachers Association:


USGS: Earthquakes for Kids

Yahoo Kids! Plate Tectonics Page

Scholastic: Reading the Richter Scale

CBS News: How Earthquakes are Measured

Scientific American: Seconds Before the Big One – Progress in Earthquake Alarms

MSNBC: How Quake Prediction Works (or not)

USGS Earthquake Science Explained (10 articles)

Earthquake Teaching Resources


To get more involved, join the Quake Catcher Network, a citizen science project based at the University of California, Riverside, and get your own earthquake sensor:


About the Author: Anna Kuchment is a Contributing Editor at Scientific American and a staff science writer at The Dallas Morning News. She was previously a reporter, writer and editor with Newsweek magazine. She is also author of “The Forgotten Cure,” about bacteriophage viruses and their potential as weapons against antibiotic resistance. Follow on Twitter @akuchment.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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