Earthguide Mystery Epicenter Activity and OneNote

Introducing Mystery Detectives and online notebooking

Tuesday July 17 10:30-12:00 San Diego County Office of Education, Joe Rindone Tech. Center


Middle School Science Teacher
Pacific Beach Middle School
San Diego Unified School District

Amy Weinheimer is a science teacher at Pacific Beach Middle School, an International Baccalaureate School. She has taught grades 6, 7, and 8 science incorporating hands-on learning and real-world applications in her lessons.
Earthguide Developer
Geosciences Research Division
Scripps Institution of Oceanography
University of California San Diego

Memorie Yasuda is a digital educational media producer focusing on content related to Earth Sciences at Earthguide in the Geosciences Research Division of Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego. She also teaches Oceanography at Grossmont College in El Cajon, California.

Summary - Mystery Epicenter is one in a series of project-based Earth science activities called Mystery Detectives. Each activity addresses standards-based learning and draws upon a wide range of engaging and relevant material. Mystery Detective units are produced by the Earthguide educational media group in the Geosciences Research Division at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Each unit is a collaboration between Earthguide, local teachers, UCSD undergraduate digital media majors and the scientific research community at Scripps.

Each unit is designed to accomodate and adapt to evolving standards, classroom situations, technology and challenges. Each unit is project-based and integrates online components with hands-on classroom elements. Each unit begins with an observation that sets up a mystery or conflict. Through the project-based acivity, students use new and existing skills and content knowledge.

In Mystery Epicenter, groups of three students work together to determine the location of an earthquake epicenter in order to inform the public in a news broadcast. Because each group has analyzed a different earthquake, they can analyze the distribution of earthquakes as a class to discover the association between active faults and earthquakes. They learn that one of the most active areas occurs along the San Andreas Fault and that it is a tectonic plate margin. Thus, they learn that earthquake hazards are not a one-time event, but an ongoing hazard that they need to consider.

Mystery Epicenter was produced with science teacher Felicia Ryder at Wangenheim Middle School, SDUSD.


Materials for workshop