In this activity, students will investigate how different mediums transfer energy. When someone jumps, the energy is released from the ground and transfers through the floor, and is recorded by the Raspberry Shake seismograph. What happens to the energy as it goes through different substances and materials? In this activity, students will explore that question.
Step 1 — Introduction and planning:
The Raspberry Shake seismograph is extremely portable, and because of its small size can be easily moved around, placed on top of different materials, and be recording data the whole time! Because the sensitive geophone on the Shake detects any motion/energy that passes under it, it can be used to investigate how energy waves get stronger or weaker according to the substance they are passing through. That is what this experiment explores! Students become scientists by making predictions, observations, and conclusions as the class conducts the experiment.
- Decide on a repeatable way in which your students will create ground motion. This can be a jump that is executed the same way, or a textbook dropped from a set height. Always the same distance away from the sensor.
- Introduce the students to the “Observation Sheet”, pictured below. (These can be completed in pairs)
- Encourage students to make observations like “one, tall spike” or “many, little waves”.
Step 2 — Get Shaking!
Gather the students near the monitor to watch the graph closely. When energy release (jump, book drop, etc.) occurs on the floor near the Shake releasing ground motion, it may take a few seconds for the data to register on the monitor. Remember, take notes of the observations and try to sketch the form of the graph in the space provided. Then, allow some time for the graph to reset after each test before proceeding to next test and then repeat this process for tests B through E.
- Test A: Control
- Raspberry Shake is placed on the floor
- Test B: Elevated (Sensor on table or chair)
- Sensor is placed on a chair or desk
- Test C: Cushioned
- Sensor is placed on a cushion or pillow
- Test D: Liquid
- Sensor is placed on a plastic bag full of water
- Test E: Air
- Sensor is placed on a plastic bag full of air
After the final test is complete and students have filled out their observations, proceed to Conclusions and Reflections.