Earthquake Activity

Earthquake Activity at School

This earthquake activity was created for Year 6 students. Students will apply their previous knowledge about earthquakes to construct a building that can withstand damage from earthquakes. Students will use the engineering design process to build their own structures with toothpicks and plasticine. The structure will be tested to determine the earthquake-proof capacity of their building through an earthquake simulation using a shaker table.

In this activity, students carried out the following:

  1. Engage in the Engineering Design Process.
  2. Learn about the factors that make buildings earthquake-proof, including cross-bracing, large ‘footprints’, base isolation and tapered geometry.
  3. Model an earthquake-proof structure using simple materials.
  4. Understand the importance of engineering for designing earthquake-proof buildings.
  5. Understand the properties of shapes, and how combining shapes yields new properties and relationships
  6. Explore how combining shapes can increase structural strength

The following booklets will enable you to carry out the earthquake activity in your classroom

  1. Earthquake Activity – Combined Teacher Notes & Student Workbook Guide Booklet
  2. Earthquake Activity – Student Design Workbook