facebook Seismograph DIY | Generation Genius
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Natural Disasters Activity for Kids

Seismograph DIY

  • Duration: 30-60 min
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Cost: $0 to $5

Construct your own seismograph and simulate an earthquake!

Material List

  • 1Box
  • 1Pair of scissors
  • 5Rubber bands
  • 1Marker
  • 1Paper strip
  • 1Ruler


  • 1Tape one side of the box closed.
  • 2Cut a rectangular slit on both sides of the box along the bottom.
  • 4Along the top, poke a hole in the 4 corners of the box.
  • 5Tie 1 rubber band around each of these holes.
  • 6Loop the 4 bands around a marker and use one more rubber band to secure it in place.
  • 7Adjust the height of the marker so it just barely touches the bottom of the box.
  • 8Feed the paper strip through the slot while shaking the box to simulate an earthquake.

How It Works

When an earthquake occurs, a seismograph records earthquake activity. Due to the shaking, a pattern on the sheet of paper is created. These patterns provide information about the details of an earthquake, such as how strong it was and how long it lasted.

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