Video Lessons

TeacherTECH Video and Animation Lessons

Visualizations can be an excellent educational tool for both young and old. These amazing scientific visualizations and animations created by researchers at SDSC, UCSD, SIO and TSRI will engage your class as they learn concepts that are often hard to conceptualize.

Online Scientific Visualizations

Volume Visualization of the Orion Nebula
Visualization Credits:
David R. Nadeau, Jon Genetti, San Diego Supercomputer Center, University of California, San Diego, Carter Emmart, Erik Wesselak, Dennis Davidson, Hayden Planetarium, American Museum of Natural History, New York, C. R. O’Dell and Zheng Wen, Rice University.

Enormous clouds of dust and gas are found throughout the galaxy. One of the closest is the Orion Nebula, which is 1500 light-years from Earth and measures several light-years across. It is visible to the human eye as a fuzzy patch in the constellation of Orion..

View this Narrated Movie: (Quicktime Required)
The Orion Nebula

Visualization of Biomolecules: Structure, Function and Dynamics
Presented by Dr. Christoph Weber, The Scripps Research Institute.

Learn how to recognize the basic building blocks of proteins and DNA and illustrate how structure and function of biomolecules are inexorably linked. See how and why biomolecules are dynamic, from structural transitions in response to binding events to molecular motors in action.

View a Motor Animation: (Quicktime Required)
Motors Movie

Simulation of the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906
Visualization Credit: Amit Chourasia, Steve Cutchin, Mike Rossmassler, San Diego Supercomputer Center.

On the 100th anniversary of the San Francisco earthquake, this animation shows the breadth of the destruction caused by this enormous quake.
View this Animation: (Quicktime Required (Movie may take one minute to load.)
Animation of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake

Animation of a Southern California Earthquake
Visualization Credits: Amit Chourasia, Visualization Services, SDSC
Simulation Credits: Southern California Earthquake Center and SDSC

The TeraShake simulations modeled the earth shaking that would rattle Southern California if a 230 kilometer section of the San Andreas fault ruptured producing a magnitude 7.7 earthquake. Two rupture scenarios were simulated, one rupturing from north to south, beginning near Wrightwood, California, and a second one rupturing from south to north, starting near Bombay Beach, California.

View a Narrated Earthquake Video Clip: (Quicktime Required)
Animation may take a few minutes to load.
Animation of 7.7 Quake on the San Andreas Fault
SDSC Visualizations Featured in National Geographic Explorer Program, “LA’s Future Quake”

Puente Hills Earthquake Topography Displacement Simulation
Visualization Credits: Amit Chourasia, Steve Cutchin – Visualization Services, SDSC
Simulation Credits: Robert Graves – URS Corporation; SCEC and USGS

Simulations on the Puente Hills fault under Los Angeles estimates damages from a 7.2 earthquake.

View this animation: (Quicktime Required)
Animation of 7.2 Quake on the Puente Hills Fault

Visualization of Rayleigh Waves
Visualization Credit: Jeff Sale, San Diego Supercomputer Center.

Rayleigh Waves are the most damaging waves caused by earthquakes. This animation illustrates the reverse elliptical dynamics underlying Rayleigh Waves that cause such intense shifting during an earthquake.

View this animation: (Quicktime Required)
Animation of Rayleigh Waves

Lake Elsinore Sequence
Visualization Credit: Jeff Sale, San Diego Supercomputer Center.

This animation illustrates the creation of Lake Elsinore due to fault shifting.

View this animation: (Quicktime Required)
Animation of the Creation of Lake Elsinore
For additional narrated visualizations and animations by this scientist, please see

The Titan Mission and the Creation of Your Own Space Mission
Visualization Credits: Tony Hirst, Open University, England

In this website, you are going to learn all about how scientists use the tiniest glimpse of data to work out a picture of a planet – and how easy it is to get it wrong. Here you have a chance to get a “probe-eye view” of the Huygens probe as it sits on a planetary surface. Find out all about the instrumentation and science behind the recent Titan expedition, then have a go at your very own scientific mission!
Explore a Space Simulation

Macromedia Flash Interactive Educational Animations
Animation Credit: Jeff Sale, San Diego Supercomputer Center

Interactive Educational Animations Submitted by Teachers

Interactive Constellation Map
Visualization Credit: John D. Fox, Astronomy: Journey to the Cosmic Frontier, 3/e, McGraw-Hill

ROBOCOW: Operation H20
Submitted by Leslie Gushwa, San Dieguito Academy, Encinitas, California