Category Archives: Education

Stanford Shows How Fiber Optics Might Enable Global Quake-Warning Network

STANFORD (KPIX) — A web of fiber optic cables beneath the Stanford University campus is doing more than transferring data — it’s part of an earthquake monitoring network that may help scientists implement a quake early-warning system. Miles of fiber-optic cables have been buried under the Stanford campus for years. They transmit digital data and Internet traffic at high speed to the students and faculty.
Biondo Biondi

Stanford researcher Biondo Biondi has developed a fiber-optic-cable-based seismic detector. (CBS)

Geophysics professor Biondo Biondi repurposed some of those cables, along with an existing underground network of sensors, to create a virtual three-mile-long, figure-eight-shape subterranean seismometer. A breakthrough came when Biondi discovered that the fiber wires themselves could detect seismic vibrations. Last year, Prof. Biondi and graduate assistant Eileen Martin began experimenting with the fiber optic array and they have recorded about 800 seismic events since then. The tremors ranged from imperceptibly-tiny to the major 8.1-magnitude Chiapas quake in Mexico last month. Perhaps the most promising part of their research is the fiber array’s ability to record the faint, fastest waves from a distant quake — called P waves — which arrive before the ground begins shaking. Could this someday become part of a relatively cheap and ubiquitous earthquake early-warning system? Prof. Biondi thinks it’s possible. “The hope for this technology is to have large-scale seismic observatories everywhere in the world,” Biondi said. Fiber-optic networks are being installed across oceans and even in remote jungles — perhaps one day to become part of a global, glass ear always listening for the next quake.

New Mexico students raise heifers for college scholarships

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It’s the end of a year-long journey. “It’s been really rewarding. I’ve learned a lot of stuff, and hopefully with the sale of this heifer, if it goes for a lot that will go towards my college fund,” said 12-year-old Tyler Martinez. Students like Martinez and Mateo Olivas are part of the Beef Heifer Reproductive Program through New Mexico State University, where students learn all the logistics of raising a heifer. “You have your animal at your house. You wake up every day, feed it, clean its pan… Happy cow equals happy person,” said Olivas. It’s about a lot more than just that, these kids had to learn the science behind raising cattle, taking college-level courses from NMSU’s College of Agriculture. “In a year, they’ve pretty much acquired a minor in animal science and agriculture business. It’s that high level,” said Newt McCarty, who helped develop the program. The students were also vying for college scholarships. The top prize is $1,000 and second is $500. The winners will be announced Sunday. ———— Send a Breaking News Tip Report an error or typo Learn about the KRQE apps
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Education group supports changes to science standards

SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – One education group says it’s encouraged by this week’s changes to the science standards. The New Mexico Math and Science Advisory Council says the changes take positive steps to creating a solid foundation. At first, the Department of Education wanted to eliminate the teaching of evolution, question the age of the earth and change the way climate change was taught. After an outcry from the public, the education secretary decided middle schoolers will learn about the earth’s age based on scientific rock evidence. For high schoolers, the standards will include the factors behind evolution. They will also cover climate change based on global climate models. While the Teachers Federation is still opposed to the changes, the Science Advisory Council stands behind them. ———— Send a Breaking News Tip Report an error or typo Learn about the KRQE apps
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