ABSTRACT

In 2016, students from the geology department at Leicester University used simple low‐frequency geophones and low‐cost seismic dataloggers set up in a primary school and local museum within the city of Leicester to record crowd‐induced vibrations from the King Power Stadium, home of the Leicester City Football Club, a professional soccer team in the English Premier League. Clear signals were detected every time the home team scored a goal, which the students named “Vardyquakes” on social media after the team’s star striker. After a student‐led social media campaign, the story was picked up by the press and turned into a viral news story, leading to hundreds of newspaper articles in papers around the world, together with dozens of TV news stories and interviews with the students. However, the true success of this project was in finding an engaging and reliable tool for encouraging university students to participate in outreach activities with local schools. The football quakes provided a regular and predictable seismic signal that was easy to understand and provided an opportunity to explain to school students how seismic waves are created and can travel through the ground.

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