Build an Earthquake-Resistant House
- Analyze data from simulated earthquake tests to determine how well a base isolation system performed.
- Understand that technology can reduce the impact of natural disasters on humans.
- Compare the test data from two competing solutions and determine which solution was better.
OverviewExplore how technology can save lives in this fun engineering lesson plan! Earthquakes can cause devastation and loss of life when they strike, but earthquake-resistant buildings can stay standing and keep people safe. In this project, your students will build model earthquake-resistant buildings and measure their movement during a simulated earthquake using a mobile phone and a sensor app. A French translation of this activity is available.
NGSS AlignmentThis lesson helps students prepare for these Next Generation Science Standards Performance Expectations:
A cardboard box is used to simulate a house. A sheet of cardboard that is larger than the cardboard box is used for the tabletop. Scissors, tape, yarn, springs, paperclips, thumb tacks, markers, straws, rubber bands, cotton balls and binder clips are used to construct the tabletop. A ruler and stopwatch app on a smartphone are used to measure the shaking of the tabletop.
Testing Station (at least 1 per class, more if you have multiple phones available)
For each group of 2–4 students:
Area of Science
Natural disasters, structural engineering
Ben Finio, PhD, Science Buddies
Explore Our Science Videos
Why Won't it Mix? Discover the Brazil Nut Effect
Make a Lemon Volcano - Fun Science Experiment
Stretchy Balloons! Fun STEM Activity