WYNNE, AR (KAIT) - Students who live and go to school on the New Madrid seismic zone are preparing their community for a big earthquake.
The Environmental and Spatial Technology students at Wynne Intermediate, Junior High, and High School are all working on earthquake-related projects after receiving a $10,000 Beyond the Bell grant from the Arkansas Department of Education.
At the intermediate school, third through fifth graders are broken into three teams.
One group is working on seismographs using raspberry pi single-board computers. They also have a 3D printer to create the other pieces they need.
"We're in charge of making the seismographs like programming them, putting the little pieces together," fifth-grader Jake Vance said.
"Five they'll do for the students and the other five they will teach adults how to make their own seismographs because they're very reasonably priced," EAST facilitator Schunda Murphy said. "We currently have one at the Wynne Library that we have partnered with the Central Earthquake Center out of Memphis."
Those seismographs will be placed in homes on both sides of the New Madrid seismic zone to record data.
Another group of students is assembling emergency backpacks that will be given to Cross County citizens during EAST Night Out in February.
"In the backpack, there will be some of the basic necessities they will need in case of an earthquake," Murphy said. "There will also be a form in there they will be able to fill out with emergency numbers, emergency medications if they have family [members] with disabilities."
The final group of students handles communication for the projects.
"We're responsible for posting on social media, telling people what we're doing," student CJ Newborn said.
You can follow the their progress on their Facebook page or by following the hashtag #WhenWynneShakes.
Murphy said she is proud of the work her students are accomplishing.
"This is not a class period, so when the students come in here they are missing some part of their classroom day, and my students come in for a 2-hour block," Murphy said. "So when they come to my room they are putting together some kind of community project or some type of project to better our school but at the same time they go back to their classroom and do all of their missed work at night for homework. They are so dedicated to their projects."
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