Watch Class Movie

teacher Prep

Lab sheet & activites

Class Movie

Watch Class Movie

Class Movie

Teacher Prep Movie

Lab Materials Needed

Blockey Koa Crate

from Kea STEMCrate

- 1 Springy Spring Scale per student

Student Lab Sheet

EarthQuake Engineering

"It was fun to me because we got to create our own building."


Student - 4th grade.

In this lab students build a scale model of a building structure to test how their model can withstand an earthquake. A series of videos takes students on a tour of earthquake proof structures with a Structural Engineer at Berkley.

Reducing the impact of Natural Hazards

Sequence of events (Timing of movies, reading, and model Building)

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1.  Watch Movie 1 (Mexico earthquake Interview) to introduce the danger that earthquakes

     present as a natural hazard and the need for designing earthquake-safe structures.  

     Read pages 1-4 of the text to introduce the students to reasons that earthquakes occur.

2.  Watch movie 2 to introduce earthquake-safe structures and bracing.  

     Read read pages 4-8 of the text to define the bracing techniques that they could use for their 

     building project.  

     Start Building! Introduce the building challenge and the materials that they will be using to     

     build their model.

3.  Watch movie 3 to see a brace set in an actual building. Keep reading. Keep Building.

4.  Watch Movie 4 to see a modern and creative engineering solution to earthquake safe

     structures (Base Isolators). Finish Reading. Finish building.

5.  Use Shake Table!  Shake structures to failure. Have students analyze how their structure

     failed and journal about how what they learned and how they could improve their design.

Watch Class Movie

1) Mexico Earthquake Interview


Teacher's Materials

Beth in Lab.00_02_18_05.Still005.jpg

 Read pages 1-4 of the text

2) Building With Barb


Lab Assistant

2) Tension, compression, and buckling

Read pages 4-8 of the text

Start Building


Read pages 8-12 of the text

Keep Building

4) Earthquake Engineering Building Retrofit


Lab sheet & activites

Student Lab Sheet

Pages 307-310



Journal Sheet


From Kea:

-1 Mezzie Measuring tape per child (for measuring while building)

-3 Tedros Test tubes per group

(Will fill with water to load the model structure for shaking)

-1 box of paperclips per group

-1 box of straws per group

-1 shake table and 2 rollers per


Finish reading text

Finish building models and shake!


Class Movie 1 - Mexico City Earthquake Interview

 Read pages 1-4 of the text


Class Movie 2 - Building with Barb

Read pages 4-8 of the text

Start Building

Class Movie 3 - Tension, compression, and Buckling

Read pages 4-8 of the text

Start Building


Class Movie 4 - Earthquake Engineering Building Retrofit

Finish reading text

Finish building models and shake!

Actual Base Isolator joint in pipe support

Base Isolator joint (This would be between the two yellow things in the support post to the left)


Activate metronome tool (If needed)

1. Click the blue link to activate tool and then refresh page

2. Click grey puzzle piece to enable flash player

To use tool:

1.  Click green flag to start metronome

2.  Click slow, medium, or fast button to set speed

3.  Click stop sign to stop metronome

Use this tool to pace the shaking of your structural model on the shake table. Start slow and then move to medium and fast to see how much shaking your model can withstand.

Shake Table Metronome

Teacher Prep