IRIS Offers Lessons to Help STEM Educators Teach About Recent Earthquakes

“The Teachable Moments lessons help engage students in scientific inquiry and offer a critical connection to real-life events,” said Dr. Tammy Bravo, Seismology Outreach Specialist of IRIS. “By bringing knowledge, insight, and critical thinking to the classroom following a newsworthy earthquake, teachers are able to help students explore and analyze real event data, which helps to further spark their passion for science and STEM learning.”

Each Teachable Moment lesson consists of a downloadable and editable PowerPoint presentation, which is available in both Spanish and English and pertains to a specific earthquake. The lessons include interpreted U.S. Geological Survey earthquake information, plate tectonic and regional tectonic maps and summaries, concept animations, seismograms, damage photos, and other event-specific information and hazards.

The data in the lessons is generated within hours of each event. The presentations are prepared by seismologists and educators, are classroom-ready, and can be customized to fit the needs of students. IRIS also provides suggested questions that teachers can ask students who are using the lessons during distance learning.

Teachers can also use Teachable Moments as a jumping off point to explore other tools available on the IRIS Education and Public Outreach website that provide information about recent earthquakes such as live earthquake maps, station monitors, and more.

Teachable Moments are a service of IRIS Education and Outreach and the University of Portland. To learn more, visit

The American Consortium for Equity in Education, publisher of the "Equity & Access" journal, celebrates and connects the educators, associations, community partners and industry leaders who are working to solve problems and create a more equitable environment for historically underserved pre K-12 students throughout the United States.

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