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Earthquake Safe building Project

Last Updated: Sep-02-2010

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Developed By

  April Gatzemeyer
 

Lesson Title

  Earthquake Safe building Project
 

Length of Lesson

  5 Days
 

Lesson Unit

  Earthquakes
 

Grade

  8
 

Subject

  Science
 

Strand

  Earth Science
 

Michigan Content Expectations

  E3.4; E3.4B
 

Keywords

  S-Waves; P-waves; L-waves; Liquifaction; Moment Magnitued Scale
 

Materials

 

1.  Glue Gun

2.  Glue Stick

3.  Ruler

4.  20 popsicle sticks

5.  Live load canister filled with sand

6.  7 tickets

 

 

Abstract

 

The following lesson will culminate the Earthquake unit.  This lesson will allow the students to use prior knowledge to create earthquake-safe structures that will withstand the shaking of a magnitude 6 earthquake.

 

Big Idea(s)

 

How do humans engineer safe living environments for earthquake prone zones.

 

Essential Questions

 

1.  What material would work best for an earthquake-safe building?

2.  What design would be the safest for withstanding an earthquake?

3.  Does the type of land matter in earthquake-safe building construction?

 

Learning Objectives

 

Students will be able to:

  • Deterimine what materials would work best for the sturcture to withstand the shaking of an earthquake.
  • Determine what type of engineered structure would be the most effective.
  • Analyze which soil type would be best for the structure to built upon. 
 

Summative Assessment

 

You will create:

A structure that meets all the guidlines required for your build

 

Your group will present the structure you have created on Day 5.  As your final assessment, you may write a reflection paper or film the process of building your structure using prior knowledge from the unit to help determine whether your building was engineered correctly, and whether your soil choice was the most effective.

 

Lesson Opening

 

Students will view a 5 minute video clip which acts as a springboard for the Earthquake-safe building project.

The link can be found at:

Discovery School: Earth and Space Science/Earth's Changing Interior/Earthquakes/Preparation/Earthquakes

 

 

Exploration

 

The Tech has decided to expand.  To do that, a second building must be built somewhere in the South Bay/San Jose area.  the Tech has four potential sites upon which to build.  You have been hired to choose one of the four sites to design and build a new Tech museum.  You will have a tight budget.  You must build a model of your building that will be tested for earthquake saftey.  Keep all that we've talked about in mind when choosing where to build as well as the design of your building.

Guidlines:

1.  Your model must be at least 12 inches tall and fit within the pan/lot provided.

2.  Your model must withstand at least 15 seconds of shaking without breaking, falling, collapsing, or pulling off of its foundation.

3.  You may only use the materials provided (20 sticks & 1 glue stick) and those which you purchase from Ms. G.

4.  You must include a live load (canister filled with sand) into your design without gluing it down.

5.  You can only choose one building site and you should design for that site.

6.  You must stay within your budget.

 

Your budget:

Total ....................................................................7 tickets

Materials Cost

5 additional sticks...........................................1 ticket

1 glue stick........................................................1 ticket

 

 

 

 

Check for Understanding

 

Quick write

Day 2: Reflect upon your design concept from Day 1.  Do you need to change anything?

Team discussion

Day 3: Discuss any design changes that need to be made.

Quick Write

Day 4: Explain your thoughts on which type of soil you will build your structure on.

 

Explanation

 

Day 1

Students will view a 5 minute video clip which acts as a springboard for the Earthquake-safe building project.

The link can be found at:

Discovery School: Earth and Space Science/Earth's Changing Interior/Earthquakes/Preparation/Earthquakes

Then I will break the students into groups of 4 and explain the Earthquake-safe building project.  The students then will get together and discuss their thoughts on a design for their building.  When they have agreed on a design, they will sketch out their drawing.

Day 2

Students will begin the hour with a Quick Write.

Reflect upon your design concept from Day 1.  Do you need to change anything? 

When they are finished they will begin building their structures with the materials provided.

Day 3

Before begining building construction, each team will discuss any design changes that need to be made.  They will then continue building their structures.

Day 4

The students will begin their day with a Quick Write.

Explain your thoughts on which type of soil you will build your structure on.

Then the teams will continue building making all final construction changes.  Each team may do a dry run of their structure on the shake table.

Day 5

Each team will choose their soil type and shake their structure to see how well their stucture would withstand the earthquake shaking.  Once we complete all groups structures on the shake tables, I will explain the conclusion paper/video and its due date.

 

 

Check for Understanding (2)

 

All students will submit a conclusion paper or video based on the following criteria:

1. Did you stick with your original drawing or did you change your design?  If you did change the drawing, why?

2. Did you find a way to anchor your structure to the soil?  How did you do this?

3. Did you do anything to make your building more structurally sound?  What did you do?

4.  How did the bottom of the structure compare to the top? (Explain what your structure looked like)

5.  What soil type did you choose?  Why?

6. How could this soil type affect a building in a real earthquake?

7.  If your structure didn't survive the shaking, how would you change it if you had an opportunity to go back and rebuild?

Length of paper is a one page minimum and it must be typed.  The video should be no more than three minutes.

 

 

Extended Practice

 

For students needing a little extra help, discovery education has a earthquake building tutorial and simulator that may help students create a structure and be able to test it and fix anything they need to.

 

Closing

 

Students should have a good understanding of:

1.  How the material chosen by engineers to build earthquake-safe buildings effects the overall quality of the structure. 

2. How the large base and narrow top is the best structural design.

3.  How the soil type does effect the overal structure.  A more solid soil (bedrock) is the best option for a build site.

 All the information from the Plate Tectonics unit will be revisited in the next unit (volcanoes).