Earthquake Resistant Structures
On Wednesday and Thursday you will build an earthquake-proof structure with your group. First, complete the following three steps in your notebooks:
Step 1- Identify the Need or Problem
1) What structure do I want to build?
2) What are possible solutions to the problem of how to make a structure that can withstand an earthquake? How can I make our structure strong?
3) What is the problem? What stresses do buildings face during an earthquake?
4) What have others done? What do engineers do to make buildings strong during an earthquake?
Step 2 – Research the Need or Problem and Image (brainstorm) a solution.
We need to research how earthquake resistant buildings are built. Research links found on the school website. Fill a page of your notebook with information from these sources.
Step 3 – Develop Possible Solutions or a Plan
Now that you have seen what is available, what would you like to see in your design?
Make a sketch of your idea for an earthquake-resistant structure.
Steps 4-6 will be completed as a group:
Steps 4-6 will be completed Thursday and Friday as a group:
Step 4- Create
Now build your earthquake resistant building using the materials found at the Materials Station.
Building must be made out of the following materials:
pasta $75 each
straws $125 each
mini marshmallows $40 each
tape $20/3 cm
Popsicle sticks $200 each
black licorice $75 each
The catch is that you only have $6000 to build the most stable building possible!
Your building must be at least 40 cm tall
Your goal is to have your building last a 15 second “earthquake” on the shake table but your grade for this project is not dependent on it staying up.
Step 5 – Test and Improve the Prototype
Improve- What can you do to your prototype to make it better?
Step 6 – Communicate the Solutions: Prepare to share your model on Friday for final testing.
Results: Due Friday, March 9
As a group, turn in a piece of paper answering the following questions:
1) How much money did you spend? What materials did you use?
2) How did your design change from start to finish?
3) How would you improve your design?
4) Was your design successful?
5) What did you learn about making an earthquake-resistant structure?
Research Questions (Due Friday, March 9)
Complete the following as a group: 10 sentences each!
1. Review the four variables that contribute to the durability of a building: distribution of weight, variation in shape, variation in height, and the type of material used for the foundation. Discuss what is needed to create earthquake-proof buildings. For example, what would happen if a building was constructed properly but was built on a sandy foundation? What issues do builders face when constructing very tall buildings?
2. Using the Internet or library resources, find out about a serious earthquake that occurred in the last 20 years. What caused the most damage? What strategies could be implemented so that the damage is not as great the next time?
3. Based on what you have learned about earthquake-proof buildings, in what kind of building would you like to be during an earthquake? Describe its features and why you think it would be safe.
4. One of the largest freestanding domed structures on Earth is the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey. It has survived all magnitudes of earthquakes for nearly 1,500 years. Using the Internet or library for research, do a structural analysis of the Hagia Sophia. Then report on some of the theories proposed about why this structure appears to be earthquake proof.
5. Discuss some of the structural features that are being incorporated into modern buildings to help them withstand earthquakes registering on the high end of the Richter scale. Use your library or the Internet to find resources to assist you in your research.
6. Following are three different approaches for preparing for future earthquakes. Discuss the value of each approach. Is one better than the others? Would you be more likely to invest in one approach over the others? Give evidence to support your ideas.
• Support and encourage engineers to design better buildings that have a greater chance of withstanding an earthquake.
• Support and encourage engineers and scientists to learn more about earthquakes, enabling them to better predict when they will take place. This increased knowledge will help people be more prepared when the earthquake does hit.
• Support public information campaigns that educate people about the safest places to build homes and discourage them from building in areas at the greatest risk for earthquakes.