Class VI Earthquake Engineering

In Class VI Science, students learned about how tectonic movements cause earthquakes. They learned about engineering techniques that architects use to design buildings that can withstand earthquakes. They experimented with different ways to minimize the impact of seizemic activity on structures, including sheer walls, gussets, and base isolation.

In Technology class, students learned how to take accurate measurements using calipers and rulers. They also learned how to use TinkerCAD, a 3D design software to create digital models of real-world objects.

As a three-week collaboration between Science and Technology classes, Class VI students were then challenged to design and construct models of skyscrapers that can withstand earthquakes. They used balsa wood sticks as the main building material. All connections between sticks needed to be 3D designed and printed.

At the end of the project, we tested the strength to weight ratio of each building by placing weights on top of the buildings and shaking them under the duress of an earthquake simulator table. The winning building was only 65 grams but could hold over 2000 grams of mass without buckling.

The winning building.

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