Lesson Plan

Design an Earthquake Resistant Building

Students will attempt to answer the following driving questions:How can you use the Engineering Design Process to build an earthquake resistant building? How can you use your background knowledge about structures to construct your building?
Darren D.
Classroom teacher
Cottonwood Creek Elementary School
Englewood, CO
Show More
My Grades K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Objectives

Students will be able to...

  • Use appropriate tools strategically.
  • Apply the Engineering Design Process by using Google Sketch-up to design an earthquake resistant building.
  • Identify materials used to accomplish a design task.
  • Build a prototype and test using a shake table.
Subjects
Math
Science
Grades 5
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook/Attention Getter: Kahoot It! will be used to assess student background knowledge regarding the effects of natural disasters like earthquakes have on structures.

Kahoot It! will be used to assess student background knowledge regarding the effects of natural disasters like earthquakes have on structures. Analysis of student results will be used as a beginning point to make connections to prior knowledge and have a discussion.

 

Student Instructions

Students will log into the Kahoot site and participate in the Kahoot game. Students may need additional support and directions on how Kahoot works.

2 Direct Instruction

Students will access a Google site that allows students to work through the stages of the Engineering Design Process. Students will be exposed to videos and various websites selected by the instructor that explains the stages that will assist in their design of a working prototype. Discussion on what a structure is and what possible issues occur with structures during an earthquake will occur.

Step 1- Identify the Need or Problem
Complete Step 1-Ask in your packet.

What structure do I want to build?
What are possible solutions?
What is the problem?
What have others done?

Step 2 - Research the Need or Problem and Image (brainstorm) a solution.
 We need to research how earthquake resistant buildings are built. Spend some time looking over the following websites. 

Complete section 2 in your packet. Imagine that you are a civil engineer. For what purpose would you use your structure for?

Research Links

Earthquake Resistant Structures
Science Studio
Earthquake Video

Feel free to complete more research on how to design an earthquake resistant building.

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? 

Use Google SketchUp to design your plan.
See what other K-12 students have built with Sketch-up.
Video Tutorials. Watch these videos to learn the basics of Sketch-up. These are on the desktop. The best way to learn is to experiment and play!

Video 2

Push/Pull

Sketch-Up Help

Google Start-up Guide

Sketch-up Reference Guide

Step 4- Create
Now build your earthquake resistant building using the materials found at the Materials Station.

For this part of the project, you will build a 3D model of your design that includes only the skeleton of the building(including supports and showing the structure that would be on the inside of the walls.
Building must be made out of the following materials. You can choose any combination from this list but can not use anything else.

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 a gallery walk.

How would you improve your design?
Was your design successful?

        

Student Instructions

Students will begin to form groups and complete steps 1 and 2 of the Engineering Design process by researching via selected sites what others have done to solve the problem.

 

3 Guided Practice

Students will access a Google site that allows students to work through the stages of the Engineering Design Process. Students will be exposed to videos and various websites selected by the instructor that explains the stages that will assist in their design of a working prototype. Students will be using Google Sketch Up after an introduction on how to use the tool occurs. Students will work in small collaborative groups to create an earthquake resistant building  using  Sketch Up as a drawing of their prototype.

Step 1- Identify the Need or Problem
Complete Step 1-Ask in your packet.

What structure do I want to build?
What are possible solutions?
What is the problem?
What have others done?

Step 2 - Research the Need or Problem and Image (brainstorm) a solution.
 We need to research how earthquake resistant buildings are built. Spend some time looking over the following websites. 

Complete section 2 in your packet. Imagine that you are a civil engineer. For what purpose would you use your structure for?

Research Links

Earthquake Resistant Structures
Science Studio
Earthquake Video

Feel free to complete more research on how to design an earthquake resistant building.

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? 

Use Google Sketch Up to design your plan.
See what other K-12 students have built with Sketch-up.
Video Tutorials. Watch these videos to learn the basics of Sketch-up. These are on the desktop. The best way to learn is to experiment and play!

Video 2

Push/Pull

Sketch-Up Help

Google Start-up Guide

Sketch-up Reference Guide

Step 4- Create
Now build your earthquake resistant building using the materials found at the Materials Station.

For this part of the project, you will build a 3D model of your design that includes only the skeleton of the building(including supports and showing the structure that would be on the inside of the walls.
Building must be made out of the following materials. You can choose any combination from this list but can not use anything else.

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 a gallery walk.

How would you improve your design?
Was your design successful?

        

Student Instructions

Students will begin to use Google Sketch Up to create a prototype of a building that will be earthquake resistant. Various videos on how to use Google Sketch Up are included in the website to assist students with their design process.

4 Independent Practice

Activity: Creating

Students will access a Google site that allows students to work through the stages of the Engineering Design Process. Students will be exposed to videos and various websites selected by the instructor that explains the stages that will assist in their design of a working prototype. Students will use the prototype drawing created in the previous step to build a small scale model that can be tested on a shake table.

Step 1- Identify the Need or Problem
Complete Step 1-Ask in your packet.

What structure do I want to build?
What are possible solutions?
What is the problem?
What have others done?

Step 2 - Research the Need or Problem and Image (brainstorm) a solution.
 We need to research how earthquake resistant buildings are built. Spend some time looking over the following websites. 

Complete section 2 in your packet. Imagine that you are a civil engineer. For what purpose would you use your structure for?

Research Links

Earthquake Resistant Structures
Science Studio
Earthquake Video

Feel free to complete more research on how to design an earthquake resistant building.

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? 

Use Google SketchUp to design your plan.
See what other K-12 students have built with Sketch-up.
Video Tutorials. Watch these videos to learn the basics of Sketch-up. These are on the desktop. The best way to learn is to experiment and play!

Video 2

Push/Pull

Sketch-Up Help

Google Start-up Guide

Sketch-up Reference Guide

Step 4- Create
Now build your earthquake resistant building using the materials found at the Materials Station.

For this part of the project, you will build a 3D model of your design that includes only the skeleton of the building(including supports and showing the structure that would be on the inside of the walls.
Building must be made out of the following materials. You can choose any combination from this list but can not use anything else.

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 a gallery walk.

How would you improve your design?
Was your design successful?

        

Student Instructions

Students will need to work in collaborative groups to create an earthquake resistant building /scale model. Students will be purchasing supplies from a hypothetical store to build their structure and can only spend $6000 dollars on supplies. Students will test and improve their designs.

5 Warp-Up

Activity: Presenting

Students will access a Google site that allows students to work through the stages of the Engineering Design Process. Students will be exposed to videos and various websites selected by the instructor that explains the stages that will assist in their design of a working prototype. Students will present their final prototype to the group explaining what failed and how they improved their design.

Step 1- Identify the Need or Problem
Complete Step 1-Ask in your packet.

What structure do I want to build?
What are possible solutions?
What is the problem?
What have others done?

Step 2 - Research the Need or Problem and Image (brainstorm) a solution.
 We need to research how earthquake resistant buildings are built. Spend some time looking over the following websites. 

Complete section 2 in your packet. Imagine that you are a civil engineer. For what purpose would you use your structure for?

Research Links

Earthquake Resistant Structures
Science Studio
Earthquake Video

Feel free to complete more research on how to design an earthquake resistant building.

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? 

Use Google SketchUp to design your plan.
See what other K-12 students have built with Sketch-up.
Video Tutorials. Watch these videos to learn the basics of Sketch-up. These are on the desktop. The best way to learn is to experiment and play!

Video 2

Push/Pull

Sketch-Up Help

Google Start-up Guide

Sketch-up Reference Guide

Step 4- Create
Now build your earthquake resistant building using the materials found at the Materials Station.

For this part of the project, you will build a 3D model of your design that includes only the skeleton of the building(including supports and showing the structure that would be on the inside of the walls.
Building must be made out of the following materials. You can choose any combination from this list but can not use anything else.

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 a gallery walk.

How would you improve your design?
Was your design successful?

        

Student Instructions

Students will communicate their solutions to the initial driving questions explaining what worked and what failed in their design. Students will also explain how they can improve their design.