Seismology in Schools - T&T

About our Programme

The UK Seismology in Schools Programme started as an extra-curricular activity at the University of Leicester but developed nationally and moved to the BGS. There are now over 500 school physics departments in the programme, which is supported by local universities including Imperial College and Durham University who also have geological interests in the Caribbean. It has been highly successful in stimulating students to read physics, mathematics and geography and thus qualify for University courses in Science and Engineering to meet manpower shortages. In 2014, a similar installation was done in Trinidad & Tobago starting with a pilot programme in which seismometers were installed in 8 schools in T&T.

Teachers from the eight schools participating in the pilot initiative, as well as staff of the UWI Seismic Research Centre and NIHERST/NGC National Science Centre, where seismic stations will also be installed for the benefit of the public at large, were trained in the use of the seismometers sponsored by NIHERST, Durham University and Imperial College. The schools network were registered with the BGS international database, to enable their data to be uploaded and exchanged with the UK school network and many others, including the Caribbean, around the world.

BGS, Imperial College, Durham University and University of Leicester were responsible for providing content, sourcing the equipment needed, providing training to local partners and teachers during the pilot phase. NIHERST continues to coordinate the ongoing efforts of the collaborating agencies and, together with UWI SRC and the Ministry of Education (MOE), maintain the programme locally. The MOE continues to provide technical advice to guide the infusion of the concepts and skills developed during teacher training into effective teaching and learning strategies as well as ensure alignment with national and regional education policies and curricular goals.

Programme Highlights

NIHERST in collaboration with the UWI Seismic Research Centre hosted the 3rd annual tour of Seismology in Schools Workshops in 2018. To date, over 500 secondary school students from Forms 4-6 have been engaged in the programme. All were trained in analysing real seismic data and have recorded just over 100 significant earthquake events across the Caribbean and Latin American region. They have also been introduced to new methods of learning using seismology concepts.

NIHERST also held the 3rd annual Shake Squad: Mission 3 competition. This initiative engaged several teams of students in mission oriented tasks that included working with anonymous real seismic data, monitoring and managing seismic stations and reaching out to real local geoscientists. This year’s competition was very successful with St. Stephen’s College grabbing top place, and defending their title again. In second place A.S.J.A Girls’ College, San Fernando proved that they were a force not be reckoned with and Bishop’s High School, Tobago following in third.

The grand prize was an internship at the UWI Seismic Research Centre which was memorable as expressed by one of the past interns. However, NIHERST has decided to introduce our first internship at the NIHERST/NGC National Science Centre in 2019. The students are looking forward to this new exciting experience. NIHERST visited the schools on Friday 25th January to present the students with their awards.

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