Earthquake “Season” As Science Phenomena

Investigating Earthquake Season

Phenomenal Things Happen Every Day

Science is about investigating the real world and that means our science lessons must start with phenomena. 

Phenomena – things that happen – are literally all around us. They make up every moment in our day, all the “stuff” in our world. They are our reality.

All the same, finding phenomena to use in the classroom so often feels hard. What are phenomena? How do I present phenomena? How do I tie it to my content?

You can learn more about phenomena in this blog post. But in terms of finding it, here’s a quick example and a few standards and topics you might find relevant ties to.

Please remember, phenomena are just things that happen that we experience here in the real world — so we can typically scale them “up or down” for any grade level. Consider your purposesyour students, and use that to drive how you present a phenomenon in your classroom.

Earthquake Season???

Scientists noticed a strange pattern in seismic data from a region in the Pacific Northwest. They noticed offshore earthquakes appeared to have a seasonality — these occurred frequently in the winter months. Upon further research, scientists discovered a connection between the earthquakes, the region’s topography, and hurricanes in the region. How were these factors interacting to create these seismic events?

Learn more here.

#earthquakes #storms #weather #climate #topography #oceanfloor #earthsurface #hurricanes #seismicdata #patterns #causeandeffect


Possible Standard Connections

3-ESS2-1 Represent data in tables and graphical displays to describe typical weather conditions expected during a particular season.

4-ESS2-2 Analyze and interpret data from maps to describe patterns of Earth’s features.

5-ESS2-1 Develop a model using an example to describe ways the geosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and/or atmosphere interact.

MS-ESS2-5 Collect data to provide evidence for how the motions and complex interactions of air masses results in changes in weather conditions.

MS-ESS2-3 Analyze and interpret data on the distribution of fossils and rocks, continental shapes, and seafloor structures to provide evidence of the past plate motions.

MS-ESS3-2 Analyze and interpret data on natural hazards to forecast future catastrophic events and inform the development of technologies to mitigate their effects.

HS-ESS2-2 Analyze geoscience data to make the claim that one change to Earth’s surface can create feedbacks that cause changes to other Earth systems.

HS-ESS2-3 Develop a model based on evidence of Earth’s interior to describe the cycling of matter by thermal convection.

HS-ESS2-5 Plan and conduct an investigation of the properties of water and its effects on Earth materials and surface processes.


What Do You Think?

I’ve suggested a few ways to connect this phenomenon to the standards, but I’m sure there’s many more creative ways I’ve missed! How would you tie this phenomenon to your curriculum?