Mars InSight Data Release 2 – Watch Mars M-O-V-E!

#Mars #InSight Data Release 2 – Watch Mars M-O-V-E!  Through a collaboration between #NASA and Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (#IRIS), the second release of seismic data from the Mars’ InSight mission is publicly available.  #TXESP uploaded select data using IRIS’ #jAmaSeis software, here is a sneak peak!

February 9, 2019
February 9 – 10, 2019
February 10, 2019

Building Across STEM Disciplines

Support our campaign to bring earthquake instruments to SIX schools in Houston!  CLICK HERE >>> “Seismographs in Houston Schools


At TXESP, we immerse our lesson plans and activities across multiple Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics disciplines.  Each teaching tool is carefully chosen for its adaptability to achieve this goal.  Science does not live in a vacuum – science is dynamic, science is evolving, and science is a feedback loop of inquiries.  Embedded within our pedagogy are the underlying principles of the NGSS.

A [NGSS] Framework for K–12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas (Framework) recommends science education in grades K–12 be built around three major dimensions: science and engineering practices, crosscutting concepts that unify the study of science and engineering through their common application across fields, and core ideas in the major disciplines of natural science….. The Framework identifies seven crosscutting concepts that bridge disciplinary boundaries, uniting core ideas throughout the fields of science and engineering. Their purpose is to help students deepen their understanding of the disciplinary core ideas (pp. 2 and 8) and develop a coherent and scientifically based view of the world (p. 83). The seven crosscutting concepts presented in Chapter 4 of the Framework are as follows:  patterns, scale/proportion/quantity, cause and effect, systems and models, energy and matter, structure and function, and stability / change. ”


Help bring six new seismographs to Houston-area schools >>> go fund me!

Screenshot of the helicorder detecing ground motion beneath Spring, TX.

This year, Texas Educational Seismic Project (TXESP) is campaigning to raise funds to purchase (6) Raspberry Shake seismographs to be placed in Houston-area schools.

The Raspberry Shake seismograph is a scientific instrument which detects and records ground motion such as: earthquakes! erupting volcanoes, hurricanes, thunderstorms, slamming doors, children jumping on the floor…. and the list goes on and on.   “Seismographs in Schools” is a project which brings exciting, hands-on, dynamic and REAL TIME data into the classroom.  K-12 students learn concepts spanning all STEM disciplines as it is actually practised in the real world.

For more information about how TXESP uses seismographs to accomplish learning goals, please visit us at, on Twitter @KristiFinkTXESP, or on Facebook


Jumping, Jumping, Jumping, Kids Get Your Jump On!

Jumping, Jumping, Jumping, Kids Get Your Jump On!  This morning we experimented with our #RaspberryShake (Station #RAD87) by creating our own “earthquakes” – we jumped in front of the #seismograph several times.  We are investigating how local site conditions affect the #amplitude and #shape of the waves we see recorded on the #helicorder (see picture below).

Each time we moved the RS seismograph, it created a large amplitude spike (shown as black arrows).  First, we moved the RS seismograph to an open space on the hardwood floor, then we jumped for 10 seconds and again for 20 seconds (shown by the green arrows at times 14:22 and 14:23).  Second, we placed a pillow under the RS seismograph and jumped for 20 seconds again (time 14:25).  Lastly, we put two sheets of bubble wrap under the RS and jumped for 20 more seconds (time 14:26).  Once we finished jumping, we moved the RS back to its original position.

Image#1 – Raspberry Shake Station RAD87’s helicorder display.  Shown are the high amplitude events when we were moving the seismograph (black arrows) and when we were jumping in front of the instrument (green arrows).


Image#2 – An extracted seismogram showing the different waves detected by the RS.  The first group of waves begin with a movement down (shown by the black arrow), this movement is associated with jumping because the ground first moves down.  The second group of waves first moves up because we are picking the instrument up to move it.  Note that both groups of waves have several up-and-down peaks which show us how the instrument was moving, relative to the ground, during that time period.


Unfortunately the SWARM software stopped the peaks/troughs once they reach a certain amplitude, so we cannot observe the difference (1) jumping with the seismograph on hardwood vs. a pillow vs. on bubblewrap, and (2) between jumping vs. moving the seismograph.

Next steps are to re-design the experiment so that the software doesn’t change our display on the helicorder.  Scientific-inquiry is a iterative process, re-design and try again 🙂

Can We Detect Small Earthquakes?

TXESP continues researching the answer, if any, to the question “How well can the Raspberry Shake seismograph **detect earthquakes** and provide high quality data comparable to other educational and research-quality seismographs?”

Example: a magnitude M3.1 Earthquake occurred near Monahans, Texas on September 6, 2019 at 15:55 hrs UTC. Two of three Raspberry Shake seismographs recorded ground motion at 2.2 pol deg away (Station R70B6), 2.4 polar deg away (Station R376A) and 6.6 pol deg away (Station RAD87). Note that each seismogram has a 1.0 Hz LP filter applied.

Compare how well each seismograph detected (or not detected) this small event.



Come See TX/BC-ESP’s Poster at Society of Exploration Geophysicists’ National Conference in San Antonio, Sept 18, 2019

Come See TX/BC-ESP’s Poster at Society of Exploration Geophysicists’ National Conference in San Antonio, Sept 18, 2019 !

Texas Educational Seismic Project (TXESP), together with the Boston College Educational Seismology Project (BCESP), share a mission to take real world events and turn them into “Teachable Moments”.  In pursuit of our mission, both TXESP and BCESP use seismology as an exciting medium for inviting students into the world of scientific monitoring; we are highly motivated to promote inquiry-based learning through investigation of earthquakes recorded by seismographs in classrooms. It is truly fascinating that it is possible to record earthquakes that occur across Texas and New England using a new, simple seismograph – the Raspberry Shake seismograph. Seismographs record many types of ground motions: earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, human-made explosions, and even local traffic! Historically, real-time earthquake monitoring and analysis required very large, high cost, and professional laboratory quality instruments.  However, very recently the Raspberry Shake seismograph revolutionized citizen science capabilities.  The question we ask is “Can the Raspberry Shake seismograph provide high quality data similar to other educational and laboratory seismographs?”  Raspberry Shake offers a simple “plug-and-play” affordable seismograph which offers great flexibility for users.   Affordability and flexibility expands opportunities for low to median income (LMI) students – giving them research experiences investigating what is recorded on their classroom seismograph and promoting a valuable positive step in the direction of inquiry-based science education and college readiness.

TXBC_ESPs_SEG_2019_printed POSTER

NASA’s High School Aerospace Scholars (HAS) applications are now open!

NASA’s High School Aerospace Scholars (HAS) applications are now open!

HAS is an authentic learning experience for Texas high school juniors to engage with NASA’s mission to become the next generation of explorers.  Students are able to learn about different STEM related fields of study they might want to pursue in college.  Following a series of online lessons, highest achieving students will be invited to an all-expenses-paid, week-long visit to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston during the summer. Selected participants will plan a mission to Mars while being mentored and receiving guidance from NASA scientists and engineers. Both the online and onsite portions are free to participants.

Applications are available for students beginning September 10, 2019 through October 23, 2019 >>> Please encourage students at your school to visit our website at:

Attend this Upcoming Women’s Diversity STEM Conference

“Building Bridges: The Power of the Sisterhood” will convene diverse women leaders in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine) who have shown expertise in supporting the longevity and advancement of women within their fields. This conference in and of itself presents a groundbreaking framework for bringing white women and women of color together in an intentional and novel way for transformational change, thus providing the catapult for lasting collective action that impacts current power systems and structures in the STEM arena. Brought together as a diverse group of women representing all STEM disciplines, and with direct programmatic design and input from women of color in these fields, participants will be empowered in their home environments to impact on how we as women interface with each other so as to cultivate necessary change.

In order for women in STEM to affect leadership and representation at the highest levels of STEM fields, meaningful relationship-building among women and across racial-ethnic and cultural groups will need to occur.

Day 1:
Women separately gather in interdisciplinary groups of 50 professional women of color and 50 white women. Each group will be responsible for sharing authentic perspectives and generating ideas on how to cultivate camaraderie with their women colleagues across racial-ethnic and cultural backgrounds.

White women will meet at the below address for a workshop moderated by Dr. Laura Bottomley, Dr. Christie Sahley, and Dr. Martha Williams:

Bluebonnet Room
Communities Foundation of Texas
Mabel Peters Caruth Center
5500 Caruth Haven Lane at Central Expressway
Dallas, Texas 75225-8146

Women of color will meet at the address below for a workshop moderated by Dr. Valeria Chapman, Dr. Rashele Yarlborough, and Dr. Joycelyn Elders:

Top Floor Meeting Center, Fiori on Vitruvian Park
3990 Vitruvian Way
Addison, Texas 75001

Day 2 will take place at the address below:
UT Southwestern Medical Campus
T. Boone Pickens Biomedical Building
6001 Forest Park Rd
Dallas, TX 75235

This program blends both groups comprising a large interracial gathering of up to 80 of these women in STEM who will grapple with differences and commonalities in their experience and inform key aspects of a research agenda related to facilitating support among diverse women, thus lending to a stronger impact among women to reimagine the STEM agenda.

Objectives: Toward advancing women in STEM professions: (1) Develop a forum through which a multicultural, cross-disciplinary group can consider pragmatic solutions; (2) Disseminating results to a wide audience; and, (3) Forming a facilitated, virtual work group to continue the work of the conference.

Please RSVP here –

For questions and information contact: or 203-389-7466.

Hurricane Dorian is Staying Close to the Eastern US Shore

Hurricane Dorian UPDATE #14 – 09/06/2019 at 00:16hrs UTC – **NOW** the hurricane’s eye is passing Myrtle Beach and will be near Wilmington in hours; most of North Carolina is experiencing very heavy rainfall (see AccuWeather’s image, below). 

Compare Aug 30 to Sept 5 on the seismograph in New Hope, SC – note that it appears almost entirely black.  The amplitude of the seismic traces are so large that the signal overprints itself at each hour of time.  Dorian’s 100+ mph winds and high storm surge are causing the dramatic increase in ground motion recorded on the seismograph.  At approximately 13:00hrs UTC (9:00 am EDT), the eye of the storm was passing by Charleston, SC.


Aftershocks Shake Offshore Oregon

Following the #magnitude M6.3 #earthquake main shock off the coast of #Oregon on August 29, 2019, a preliminary M5.9 aftershock earthquake has occurred this morning, September 5, 2019 at 15:02hrs UTC, there is no tsunami risk. #RaspberryShake Station RAD87, operated by Texas Educational Seismic Project (#TXESP), recorded the event.  In the image below, a 1.0 Hz low-pass filter has been applied to the #seismogram.