A geophysical survey to study how the ground reacts to an earthquake was carried out by students from the Magrini Marchetti High School in Gemona del Friuli (northeast Italy). The initiative was named PRESS40 project (Seismic Prevention at School 40 years after the Friuli earthquake) and was developed during the 2015–2016 school year, inspired by the 40th anniversary of the 1976 Friuli earthquake. The project was important in that it sets out to consolidate decades of educational and scientific collaboration between the school and the OGS (Istituto Nazionale di Oceanografia e di Geofisica Sperimentale), the goal being to increase the younger generation’s awareness of some aspects of seismology.
The senior classes applied a passive method (ambient noise recordings) to quantify the seismic site response of selected areas. More than 100 students acquired 159 ambient noise recordings in 23 villages of northeast Italy in an attempt to define the soil resonance frequency of their hometown school area. Soil response frequency is a parameter that the Italian Seismic Microzonation Guidelines require for the seismic risk assessment and mitigation processes. The large amount of new and high‐quality data collected is one of the results obtained by this experience, which gave the students the opportunity to present their results in conferences and workshops, leading to the high school receiving funding to continue the measurement activities.