Week 4

Session 1

Guiding Question

  • How can we detect life on Mars using a robot?


  • What is an earthquake?

  • Why does an earthquake occur?


  • An oral presentation on defining an earthquake and why an earthquake occurs.

CT Components

Data Collection

  • Students will gather information on what an earthquake is and what are its causes


  • Students will take notes and make presentation based on their research

Entry Event

5-10 minutes

A teacher asks the following questions to prompt students thinking about an “earthquake”, and allows the students to share their experiences before showing video about earthquakes.

  • What is an “earthquake’?

  • Have any of you experienced an earthquake before? What does it like?

  • Have any of you watched any movies about earthquake? What does it like?

  • Does anyone know what is the cause of an earthquake?

Watch Dr. Andre Filiatrault’s earthquake video about what causes earthquakes (5:49 minutes).

What is an earthquake? and Why does an earthquake occur?

Small-group Hands-on Scientific Inquiry (40 minutes: Two 20 minute sessions)

Students (in a group of 2-3) will independently research on the topics of “what is an earthquake?” “What causes earthquake?” and some other scientific facts about earthquake. Some guiding questions are as follows:

  • What is an earthquake?

  • What causes earthquakes? And where do they happen?

  • Why does earth shake when there is an earthquake?

  • How are earthquakes recorded?

  • How do scientists measure the size of an earthquake?

Student Presentations

20 minutes (Two 10 minute sessions)

Students' presentations need to closely related to the sub questions and learning outcomes.

Suggested approach: Half of the students hang their posters up, and present their research to the remaining students. The poster items will reflect on earthquakes and their causes. After 10 minutes, the two groups of students switch roles with the original presenters who become the audience and the other half of the students who hung up their posters for their presentations. Students can also use Google slides, however the teacher needs to remind students of the limited time available to work on their poster/slides.

End of Session Reflection and Debriefing

5-10 minutes

Teacher briefly explains the computational thinking (CT) skill embedded in the Problem Solving Process Diagram. Using the problem solving process diagram, the teacher will ask students to identify what kind of problem solving skills/process/computational thinking they used in this session and explain how they used it. The following are some sample questions that can guide the debrief.

  • What did I learn today?

  • What problem solving skills/processes or CT components in this diagram did I use today?

  • How did I use the problem solving skills/processes/CT components?