Close Trigger Element

Search Element

Util Container

Main Container

Top Container

bolles logoThe Bolles School logo

Translate Element

Search Element

Drawer Trigger


Students Design Earthquake Resistant Structures in Science
students working

Whitehurst fourth-graders have been learning about seismic activity and earthquake-resistant building designs since December and had the opportunity to test their designs this week.

Part of an engineering study, the lesson helped students hone group problem-solving, public speaking and types of aseismic structure design skills. Groups made plans for a building that would withstand an earthquake model, constructed them and tested designs outside the lab. As a final step, students presented their projects in front of their peers running two tests – one for a small earthquake and one for a larger scale seismic event.

Students were required to use items from a prescribed list in their building construction and structures had to meet the following design criterion:

  • Model building must remain standing during the shaking of a small earthquake
  • Model must remain standing for at least 10 seconds after the shaking of a large earthquake to give someone time to escape after the shaking stops
  • Model must use at least one earthquake resistant structure or device
  • Model building should have at least two levels
  • Each level must have a floor
  • Models should be at least 15 cm tall
  • Model must have a roof

Science teacher Andi Oldham played project building code official during the lab, checking each group’s structure to make sure its design was meeting proper “codes.”

kids working
girls working