Build an Earthquake-Resistant Structure View larger

Build an Earthquake-Resistant Structure

New activity

Create an earthquake simulator using a cardboard shoebox, marbles, and rubber bands. Children and tweens can build structures out of toothpicks and marshmallows, and use the earthquake simulator to test the structures.

More details

Open Activity   

Suggest a Book

Suggest a book or books below:

Cancel or 

Report Miscategorization

Please let us know how this activity could be categorized better:

Cancel or 



  • Rating 
  • Participants Enjoyed the Activity 
    Participants Learned from This Activity 
    Activity Instructions Were Clear and Easy to Follow 
    Would Recommend 

Related Programming Resources

Related Links Tectonic Forces - Space Place in a Snap!
NASA Scientific Visualization Studio: Cumulative Earthquake Activity 1980-1995 with Tectonic Plates
USGS, Earthquakes
Science of Earthquakes
Earthquakes
Getting the right angle on the story

Videos:
Watch Building move during Earthquakes
What is an Earthquake?
Originating Source TeachEngineering
Related Books
[Suggest a book]
Earthquake!: The 1906 San Francisco Nightmare by Lynn Brunelle
A Project Guide to Earthquakes by Claire O'Neal
What Protects Us During Natural Disasters? by Lisa Owings
Can We Protect People From Natural Disasters? by Catherine Chambers
Earthquake Games by Matthys Levy and Mario Salvadori
Avalanche and Landslie Alert! by Vanessa Walker
Rosie Revere's Big Project Book for Bold Engineers by Andrea Beaty and David Roberts
Engineered!: Engineering Design at Work by Shannon Hunt and James Gulliver Hancock
Engineer Academy, by Steve Martin and Nastia Sleptsova

Reviews

 
Rating 
Participants Enjoyed the Activity 
Participants Learned from This Activity 
Activity Instructions Were Clear and Easy to Follow 
Would Recommend 
04/20/2018

Fun and informative

Any program that requires free building is generally a hit, and this one was especially so. I did this with 5-6th grades, and they enjoyed building structures that could possibly withstand an earthquake. Because of time constraints, I did not make the earthquake device, but instead had the kids place their buildings on a cookie sheet which two other students held. Those students would slowly begin to move and shake the cookie sheet, and gradually add more force, seeing when the structure might break. We also gave the kids options of other building material; they made toothpick/marshmallow structures, then tried structures with Popsicle sticks and tape, just to see what different materials might do. I found the scientific background information in the activity especially helpful when explaining the project to the kids, and the science behind it.

Write your review!

Write a review

Build an Earthquake-Resistant Structure

Build an Earthquake-Resistant Structure

Create an earthquake simulator using a cardboard shoebox, marbles, and rubber bands. Children and tweens can build structures out of toothpicks and marshmallows, and use the earthquake simulator to test the structures.