Science Students Build Earthquake Proof Buildings

In Year 8 Science, we had the opportunity to design our own earthquake resistant buildings, after learning about the techniques used to improve the outcome of earthquakes. To test this theory, we did a series of practical lessons where we attempted to build our own earthquake-resistant buildings with the provided materials: a square base, paddle pop sticks and plasticine. 

My group drew out what the end goal of our building would look like. Then we tried to build it, connecting each paddle pop stick with plasticine but after reaching a decent height, it slanted slightly before toppling over. Despite our efforts to build it back up, it was clear that it wouldn’t hold as good as blue tac would. 

So, we brought in some blue tac. Using our new found cement (blue tac), we made some strategies on how to stabilise the building in case of an earthquake, adding diagonal braces to the square walls of the building and using triangles for the floor. One of us worked on the roof of the building and the others worked one either the walls or the floors, occasionally suggesting more ways to enhance the stability of the building using communication. 

We had a lot of fun making our earth-resistant building; it was a great experience to do this as we could enjoy building without the pressure of succeeding. 

Tiffany, Year 8