This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 858092

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Open day in Carlingford

The IMPROVE Open Day took place on May 17, 2023, at the Foy Centre in Carlingford, Ireland. Its goal was to engage and spark interest among various audiences, including primary and secondary school students, as well as the local community. The audience was involved in experiments led by IMPROVE ERSs, alongside other PhD students joining them, covering various aspects of volcanology and seismology.

The children generated their own earthquake by jumping on the floor and then observed the corresponding seismogram on a screen. Moreover, they had the opportunity to view live earthquakes from around the world on the Raspberry Shake website. Two trays of jelly and premade ‘buildings’ constructed from sticks and marshmallows were used to mimic various earthquake-resistant structures.

Slinkys and ropes were utilized to illustrate various types of seismic waves and their propagation, while different waveforms on the spectrogram were displayed using a keyboard and a guitar.

The children also observed a cross-section of a volcano created using a fish tank and various other materials designed to represent the internal composition of a volcano. They were able to examine several volcanic specimens, appreciating the density differences between tuff and basalt samples and learning about the magnetism associated with specific rocks. The rheology of magma was explained using Oreo cookies, and volcanoes were created using an old glass bottle, expanding foam, and paint. The eruption was instead simulated using vinegar and baking soda. An experiment was set up with water, ketchup, and honey in plastic cups, and air was blown into them using a straw to demonstrate the different viscosities of various fluids. A CO2 meter was also introduced to simulate the increasing CO2 levels during an eruption. Finally, the children witnessed an outdoor volcano eruption: a traffic cone was transformed into a real-life volcano. Inside the cone, Pepsi and Mentos were mixed together to create a highly explosive eruption!

The day attracted a total of 213 primary school students and members of the public. There were 182 students from two primary schools, along with 22 teachers and assistants in attendance. The feedback from the participants was extremely positive. The children found the day to be a fun and educational experience, and the teachers and staff appreciated the organization and management of the Volcano Open Day. Overall, it was a highly successful and beneficial public outreach event.