As part of our “Give Back” initiative, we are offering free STEM/STEAM events each month, beginning in May. We are also committed to introducing our students, and our community, to projects that span each area of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics).
This month, we will focus on engineering, specifically, civil engineering.
About the Project
Students learn how engineers design and construct buildings to withstand earthquake damage by building their own model structures using toothpicks and marshmallows. They experiment to see how earthquake-proof their buildings are by testing them in an earthquake simulated in a pan of Jell-O®.
After this activity, students will be able to:
– Identify some of the factors that make buildings earthquake-proof, including cross bracing, large “footprints,” and tapered geometry.
– Model an earthquake-proof structure using simple materials.
– Compare a model structure with what it represents.
– Understand why engineers need to learn about earthquakes.