Seismology in Schools - T&T

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 seismographs were installed in 8 schools in T&T.

Teachers from the eight schools participating in the pilot initiative, as well as staff of SRC and NIHERST/NGC National Science Centre, where seismology 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. They will also assist in maintaining networks among local students and other students globally who are members of the Seismology in Schools Programme, and help NIHERST, SRC and MOE to monitor, evaluate and improve the programme in the long term. NIHERST continues to coordinate the ongoing efforts of the collaborating agencies and, together with SRC and 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.

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NIHERST with the support of the UWI Seismic Research Centre hosted a series of annual workshops under the Seismology in Schools Programme - Trinidad and Tobago. There was a total of (8) participating secondary schools nationwide for the 2017 cycle.

The participating secondary schools were:
  • Iere High School, Siparia
  • ASJA Girls' College, San Fernando
  • Fatima College, Port of Spain
  • Arima North Secondary School, Arima
  • Lakshmi Girls' Hindu College, St. Augustine
  • Bishop's Hight School Tobago
  • St. Stephen's College , princess Town

The (1) day workshop held at each school engaged students and teachers in using seismology concepts that can be used to teach topics in Physics and Geography. They all learned about earthquakes and earthquake analysis using the software 'Jamaseis' and data colected from the seismometers installed at each school. The students also learned about disaster preparedness and completed a challenge on earthquake engineering for buldings.

At the workshops the Seismology in Schools 2017 competition 'Shake Squad - Mission 2' was also launched. Take a look at the trailer for the 2017 mission that the schools will be competing for the grand prize of a (1) week intership at the UWI Seismic Research Centre.

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