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Eighth Graders Face Earthquake Tower Challenge

Students in Karen Bodnar’s Earth Science class learned what types of structural designs can be designed to withstand both small and large earthquakes. The Earthquake Tower Project challenged students to design a new two-story art building near a known earthquake fault. The students, working in teams, took on the roles of engineers and were asked to be creative with the shapes and designs of their structures. Additionally, each floor of the building was required to support a specific weight specified by the project rubric. To survive an earthquake, the structures had to remain standing for 10 seconds after the earthquake began and the weights needed to stay on the building. Students were given one minute to repair any damage to their building before the next earthquake.

“Energy is neither created nor destroyed, but energy creates and destroys,” Bodnar said.

Students designed creative structures while pondering the essential questions of the project that included major changes on the Earth that affect humans; what is the source of energy and how does it flow throughout the Earth; and how do observations above the surface provide clues about what is happening deep below the Earth’s surface.

Date Added: 1/19/2023