ABSTRACT

We implemented an educational program, based on the use of free software and low‐cost open hardware, to excite high school students’ curiosity about seismic‐hazard issues and to engage them in the process of learning the best practices of seismic safety. This program was developed in a senior class at the high school Liceo Paschini in Tolmezzo (northeast Italy). The students under the supervision of their physics teacher and seismologists, used an Arduino board, ADXL345 accelerometers, and open‐source software to create a low‐cost seismometer able to record local strong motion. In this article, we provide a “how‐to” (instructional) guide to enable other students to reproduce the experiment. Certain introductory lessons in computer sciences and electronics were required for the students to acquire the necessary skills and to fill gaps in their background knowledge. In addition, lectures by seismologists and specific laboratory activities allowed the class to explore different aspects of the physics of earthquakes, particularly of the seismic waves, and to become familiar with seismic‐hazard topics through inquiry‐based learning. We believe that this exercise is a good example of how earthquake issues can be taught through a multidisciplinary approach in subjects traditionally covered by scientific and technological disciplines.

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