Seismic Outreach

About Seismic Outreach

Seismic Outreach is an annual program that gives UCSD students from all majors the opportunity to reach out to local San Diego 4th and 6th grade classes. As a part of the program, the UCSD volunteers have the chance to teach the younger students about earthquake science and engineering. The main objective of Seismic Outreach is to develop these students into more effective communicators and more engaged citizens, and perhaps inspire them to choose engineering careers in the future.

SCSE’s Seismic Outreach Team hosts the program during the Fall, Winter, and Spring quarters of each academic year. The program consist of the following events:

  • Classroom Presentations (Weeks 1 and 2): Volunteers take off-site trips to participating schools to supplement the students’ learning, teaching them about earthquakes and introducing them to the idea of engineering. The students are also introduced to the K’NEX Design Competition where they form teams to build a structure to compete with during the Field Trip to UCSD. In this Design-Build process, the fourth/sixth grade students prepare the following: structure of a skyscraper made out of K’NEX, basic construction drafts, architectural drawings, and a short presentation of their work.

  • Field Trips (Weeks 7 and 8): The fourth/sixth grade students join volunteers at UCSD for a half-day event where volunteers test the structures on a miniature shake table, judge their structures and documents, and lead a tour of the UCSD campus.


Each academic year we host about 15 schools and over 1,800 students -- therefore, this program is ONLY possible through the time and effort put in by volunteers. Volunteers are not expected to have any knowledge of earthquakes in order to help, so everyone and anyone is encouraged to take part in this program. Why else should you get involved? The experience looks good on your resume. Employers are impressed with those who participate in outreach programs and reach out to younger students. It shows that they care for the advancement of the younger generation. For underclassmen and incoming freshmen, this is definitely also a great chance to get involved and meet other fellow engineers.

Interest Form

If you would like your class or school to be considered for the Seismic Outreach program, please complete the Interest Form

Comments, Questions, Concerns, or Just Curious?

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