April 8, 2010 at 9:02 a.m.
In this project, students have to think like engineers and use trial and error with materials and designs to create the ultimate seismic-safe building. The students' structures were based on seismic-safe building designs created by real engineers studied in class.
Once students' design sketches are approved by a teacher, students have one day to construct the building out of marshmallows, toothpicks, and spaghetti noodles according to their plans. Their structures were then tested for durability on a custom-built shake table designed to simulate side-to-side shaking movement of large earthquakes.
Students assessed their design strengths and weaknesses completing the natural disasters class unit with an exciting and educational project.