The project will develop a module for an Earth science unit, which emphasizes earthquakes and related seismology and plate tectonics and is inquiry-based, using the computer program SeisVolE. Th module will include sample lesson plans in the form of detailed descriptions (for both teachers and students) of investigations that can easily be conducted using the SeisVolE software and commonly available tools such as spreadsheet and word processing software. The investigations will serve as examples of templates for teacher-and student-generated investigations of research questions related to earthquakes. The module is meant to be a part (a few days to a few weeks of study depending on the class and the interests of the teacher and students) of an Earth science unit, not an entire curriculum, and will be appropriate for use in a range of grade levels (depending on scope, complexity and level of quantitative analysis of the investigations selected by the teacher). Thus, the module could ultimately be utilized by tens of thousands of teachers (middle and secondary level) and their students. The developed lesson plans will be made available at no cost on the Internet (by printing of web pages or download of pdf files which can then be printed with imbedded formatting by using freely available Adobe software). At least 15 Earth-science related lessons involving plate tectonics, structure of the earth, earthquake and volcanic hazards, the relationship of plate tectonics to occurrences of earthquake and volcanoes and to other Earth features such as mountain ranges, mid-ocean ridges, deep-sea trenches, fault block mountains, etc., and the causes of earthquakes, will be developed. The lessons will facilitate extended student inquiry and the integration of education and research experiences. During the project, 80 teachers will be trained in the use of these materials as part of field-testing and evaluation of the materials. Many more teachers will be provided with the materials through in-service efforts of the 80 teachers, through distribution of the full lessons on the Internet, and through dissemination at a booth and in presentations at two NSTA national meetings. Filed testing will be conducted and data on the quality and effectiveness of the lessons will be collected from the 80 teachers, and from students in their classes, during the project. These data will include pre- and post-tests of attitude, skills and, achievement in the content area. The data will be used to refine the lessons and provide an assessment of the materials and of the project. An external evaluator who is familiar with science education, Earth sciences, exemplary curriculum materials, and NSF-supported projects will conduct the assessment. An advisory committee of science educators will also provide feedback on the materials during development

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Earth Sciences (EAR)
Standard Grant (Standard)
Application #
Program Officer
Michael A. Mayhew
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Purdue University
West Lafayette
United States
Zip Code