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Students Aid NASA in Gathering Forecasting, Earthquake Data

Students Aid NASA In Gathering Forecasting, Earthquake Data

NASA is working with a group of students in Alaska to collect data for the Global Earthquake Forecasting System. 

The high school students involved in the Tribal Scholars Program  in Ketchikan, Alaska will perform tests and interpret data with the goal of identifying early earthquake signals, according to an article on

"The GEFS platform was installed on the roof of Ketchikan High School and started collecting data Jan. 16," the article said. "The sensors in the platform track levels of pre-earthquake signals, including carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide, as well as electrical currents, according to Ron Fortunato of Trillium Learning, an education outreach organization that connects professional and student researchers."

According to the article, "these pre-earthquake signals eventually could buy valuable time in which nuclear reactors can be secured or people evacuated, Fortunato said. GEFS platforms in Kodiak picked up an electric current on Jan. 17, but the earthquake didn’t happen for nearly 31 hours - it finally hit near Talkeetna early Monday morning."

"For TSP students and teachers in the next few months, it will mean experiments like starting cars in the parking lot below the platform or turning off electrical systems within the school to see how much 'noise' events happening in Ketchikan will produce and affect the data," the article said. "TSP science teacher Joey Fama said the way that TSP, which is a joint operation between Ketchikan Indian Community and the Ketchikan School District, is organized - with no bell schedules - allows for projects like this."

“Part of the beauty of this program is we can do larger projects, and we have some flexibility with time, so we have a couple of bigger projects for science in this next semester and this will just fit in there,” Fama said in the article.

Read the full story and comment below.

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor

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