Innovative Resources for Seismology at School with the French Educational Seismological Network

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Jean-Luc Berenguer1, Francoise Courboulex1, Julien Balestra1, Guust Nolet1 and Philippe Henri Lognonne2, (1)GeoAzur, Valbonne, France, (2)Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris, Paris, France
The original and innovative aspect of this programme stems from giving students the opportunity to install a seismometer in their school. The recorded signals, reflecting regional or global seismic activity, feed into an on-line database, a genuine seismic resource centre and a springboard for educational and scientific activities.

The network ’EduSismo’ (numbering some hundred stations installed in metropolitan France, the overseas departments and territories and a few French high schools abroad) is the outgrowth of an experiment conducted some twenty years back. Since then, the programme implemented has gone beyond simply acquiring seismic signals, which could have been procured by research and monitoring centres. By appropriating a scientific measurement, the student becomes personally involved and masters complex concepts about geophysics and geosciences. The development of simple devices and the design of concrete experiments associated with an investigative approach make it possible to instil the students with a high-quality scientific culture and an education about risks. Today, this programme is expanding with new tools providing by new research projects.

Since last year, students can investigate ocean sound recorded by ‘Mermaid’ buoys and downloaded directly the data in the schools. Geosciences at school are opening new activities with seismic data from the ocean but also study of oceanographic currents or atmospheric events.

We are also preparing actively the French E&O plan for SEIS-InSight (the future mission on Mars). InSight (Interior exploration using Seismic Investigation, Geodesy and Heat Transport) is a NASA Discovery Program mission that would place a single geophysical lander on Mars to study its deep interior. This program will provide to the schools a lot of innovative tools related to scientific culture to bring more geosciences into the classroom.

As in the past, the French educational network will get the benefit of these new research programs to provide more tools to teach geosciences in the high schools.

Keys words : seismology, Mermaid, SEIS-InSight, network, education, citizen science