Rocking the House Additional Information

Recommended Web sites:

To learn more about the house-shaking earthquake test, go to . Photos and videos showing the test can be found at (State University of New York at Buffalo).

Perkins, Sid. 2006. Rocking the house. Science News 170(Dec. 23&30):414-416. Available at

Sohn, Emily. 2006. A great quake coming? Science News for Kids (April 19). Available at

______. 2003. Quick quake alerts. Science News for Kids (May 7). Available at

Books recommended by SearchIt!Science:

[book] Earthquakes— Seymour Simon

Published by William Morrow/HarperCollins, 1991.

Even though we can’t feel them, earthquakes happen somewhere in the world about a million times every year—on average, once every 30 seconds! Most earthquakes are so slight that no one even notices them, but some are strong enough to bend and twist Earth. Such quakes can cause vast destruction. Seymour Simon explains the phenomenon of earthquakes, using detailed drawings and amazing photographs of the devastation that earthquakes leave behind.

[book] Earthquake— Christopher Lampton

Published by Millbrook Press, 1991.

By the time the famous San Francisco earthquake of 1906 was over, 28,000 buildings had burned to the ground and around 2,500 people had died. But the worst earthquake on record is probably the one that rocked China in 1556. More than 830,000 people died, making it one of the worst natural disasters of all time. What causes this rocking destruction? Using the geological theories of plate tectonics and continental drift, this book explains how the plates of rock underneath Earth’s surface formed, how they separated, and what happens when these plates collide. The danger isn’t limited to the quake itself. The trembling can cause landslides, fires, and tsunamis, which are waves more than 100 feet high. Information about earthquake detection and measurement, using the seismograph and the Richter scale, and a theory on how earthquakes might be prevented are accompanied by photographs, maps, and diagrams.

[book] Earthquake! (Disaster)— Cynthia Pratt Nicholson

Published by Kids Can Press, 2001.

How many earthquakes do you think happen on this planet in a single day? Would you believe that Earth quivers with thousands of earthquakes every day? Sometimes the quakes are mild; they simply rattle our windows and nerves. But quakes can also be strong enough to devastate cities and communities. Read about famous quakes that jolted the world in this book. Join author Cynthia Pratt Nicholson as she explores the dynamics of shifting continents and the physics of earthquakes. Be warned—amazing photographs, fun activities, and fascinating stories may leave you feeling a little shook up!

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Power Words

acceleration A continuing change in the speed or direction of a moving object. Acceleration does not just mean going faster and faster; it can mean slowing down as well. An object that moves in a curving path instead of a straight line, even when its speed is constant, is also undergoing acceleration because it is always changing its direction.

earthquake A sudden movement of the Earth’s crust. Earthquakes usually occur along cracks in the crust known as faults. They also happen in areas where large sections of the outer part of the Earth, known as plates, rub against each other.

In an earthquake, one section of Earth’s crust moves in relation to another section along the line of a fault. Earthquakes can cause serious damage to buildings and roads.

simulation An activity or process that is used to imitate something real. Simulations are often controlled by computers, which can be programmed to see what will happen under different conditions. Simulations are used to study earthquakes and weather patterns and to train airplane pilots.

Copyright © 2002, 2003 Houghton-Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

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