Ross A. Lurgio Middle School (Bedford) has partnered with the Boston College Weston Observatory through their Educational Seismology Project (BC-ESP) to bring authentic scientific learning to students. Through the generous support of the Bedford Education Foundation (BEF), we were able to install a seismograph just inside the school’s main entrance. The seismograph is actively collecting data on worldwide seismic activity which is displayed on a large-screen monitor.

The acquisition of the seismograph has been an ongoing process that was completed this fall. The BEF and additional private donations funded all of the equipment and educator professional development costs. Teachers are being trained on how to maintain the equipment, interpret the seismographic data, and integrate this technology into their lessons and activities.

According to the BC-ESP online curriculum website, “Seismographs measure the pulse of the Earth and provide direct information about earthquakes, plate tectonics, and the structure of the Earth’s interior.” Eighth-grade students will now be able to observe and use real-time data to investigate worldwide seismic movement. John Boucher, the district K-8 Math and Science Curriculum Coordinator, brought the idea to the middle school in 2016. According to Mr. Boucher, “We have worked for a few years trying to bring this real-world program to the Bedford School District. With the support of the BEF, we have been able to establish this partnership with Boston College. This data collection will not only support our students but will also contribute to the data compiled and analyzed by the Weston Observatory.” Lurgio science teachers are collaborating with experts from Boston College to carry out lessons on various aspects of Earth science.