Friday, 10 April 2015

Earthquake Engineers

By the last day of Term 1 9KMn was ready to put what they had learned about earthquakes, P-waves and S-waves to the test! 

First I shared this presentation with students, who quickly flew through the vocabulary to get to the exciting practical! 

Once students could show me their finished vocabulary I gave them each 30 marshmallows (15 large and 15 small), and 24 sticks (8 long skewers, 8 medium skewers and 8 toothpicks). 

(Next time we do this activity I would give 30 large marshmallows, as the smaller ones proved little use).

The brief was to design a two-story building that would survive through the primary wave of an Earthquake without toppling over or crumbling. 

Jayden and Chase design a pyramid shaped structure. 

We would test their structure in a tray of jelly that simulates P-waves. Students would observe what happened with their design, record their observations, then make improvements to their structure. 

Autymn and Paris designed a cube-and-pyramid 2-level structure and got ready to test it...

The structure proved to be a bit wobbly - back to the drawing board! Perhaps more cross-beams needed? Failure is the best way to learn :) 

The overwhelming success for the day came from a group of boys - PJ, Antonio, Auri and Tionee. Check out the video below to see their design!


Click here to see an example of Autymn's finished engineer work, although noone in class had time to design a poster to sell their idea to an engineering company (on the last slide).

By the end of the lesson I wanted students to have learned that structures are more stable lower to the ground, if they taper or have less mass at the top, and if they have additional support from things like cross-beams.

To revise these principles we finished the lesson off with a class favourite - a Kahoot quiz! Click here to be taken to the quiz I made to summarize this lesson.

The idea for this lesson came from this webpage