The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering holds seismic challenges for K-12 students in the area. The competition varies by age group and challenges students to construct earthquake resistant structures out of gumdrops and toothpicks or balsa wood. The structures are tested on a mini shake table to determine whether or not each building is earthquake resistant.
We can facilitate the competition for students of all ages. Depending on teacher needs, the challenge can take as little as 2.5 hours (for gumdrop structures) or as long as one week of class time (for balsa wood structures). We will host the students on campus, provide a classroom to work in, supply all materials and instruction free of charge, and take students on a tour of our large shake table laboratory.
For more information or questions about the lesson plans, please contact Kelly Doyle at email@example.com.
This project, which builds on the popular activity developed at UC Santa Barbara, allows individuals to jump on a mat and register the force of the earthquake created. Participants can print out a personalized copy of their earthquake to take home.
Learn more about the Make Your Own Earthquake curriculum developed at UC Santa Barbara.
Make Your Own Earthquake takes about 40 minutes and is available for groups touring the lab. NEES@Nevada has also partnered with the Discovery Museum to install a second Make Your Own Earthquake exhibit in their building.
The NEES@University of Nevada, Reno equipment site is funded in part by the Geoge E. Brown, Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) Program of the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP) of the National Science Foundation (NSF) under Award Number CMMI-0927178.