Earthquake Shake Table
90 Minutes | 5th – 12th Grades
Using Northeastern University’s Civil Engineering Earthquake Laboratory, students get a chance to see what an earthquake simulation looks (and feels) like! Students will be introduced to the field of civil engineering and its sub-disciplines. Students will learn how civil engineers build a variety of large scale projects grounded on the infrastructure of the city or area in question. Note: May not always be available
Students will also learn about the science behind earthquakes and how scientists have developed various techniques to define and measure different types of earthquakes. This will enable students to understand the close relationship between scientists and engineers by learning how seismology (study of earthquakes) has impacted civil engineers’ approach on projects.
After an introduction into building design and earthquake effects, students break into small groups and work with K’NEX pieces to create a structure that will withstand the highest earthquake simulation possible. After the structures are tested to failure, students can take turns standing on the shake table to get a feel for what it is like to be in the middle of a mild earthquake.
The Science of Earthquakes
Shake Table Intro
- 4-ESS3-2. Evaluate different solutions to reduce the impacts of a natural event such as an earthquake, blizzard, or flood on humans