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Musical Plates
A Study of Earthquakes and Plate Tectonics

How seismically active is each of the 50 states? (from the USGS NEIC)

Earthquakes, a scientific and physical phenomenon, affect our lives in many ways. In this project, students use Real-Time earthquake and volcano data from the Internet to explore the relationship between earthquakes, plate tectonics, and volcanoes.

Students will:
  • Use Real-Time data to solve a problem.
  • Study the correlation between earthquakes and tectonic plates.
  • Determine whether or not there is a relationship between volcanoes and plate boundaries.
Musical Plates is recommended for upper elementary, middle school and high school students (ages 11-18).

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This project is developed and managed by the Center for Innovation in Engineering and Science Education (CIESE) which is located at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ. You can learn more about this and many other CIESE sponsored Internet-based educational activities by visiting
The language arts component was developed by the Bank Street College of Education working in collaboration with CIESE staff.

Copyright © 2007 Stevens Institute of Technology,
Center for Innovation in Engineering and Science Education (CIESE) All Rights Reserved.