In this project, students construct drinking straw towers that must withstand the shaking of a shake table. One by one, 250 gram sandbags are loaded onto the towers. The towers must remain standing for 1 minute from the start of the simulated earthquake. Students then have 2 minutes to repair any damage before another sandbag is loaded and the next earthquake test begins. Students quickly learn basic principles of earthquake engineering and architecture as well as the team skills that are a basic part of all science and engineering fields.
Can understand basic principles of earthquake engineering and design including the importance of a solid foundation, wide base, symmetrical design, and trusses.
Can work together in a team to design and build a structure.
Can follow through a design process of repeated designing, testing, redesigning and retesting a structure.