STEM Earthquakes

In Class 4, the children have weekly STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) lessons. They have recently been working on creating Earthquake-proof buildings. The children had to conduct independent research to inform their design; examples of Earthquake proofing techniques used in Japan were a chief source of inspiration.

The children worked in groups to design their buildings, once they had finalised their design, and had produced an annotated diagram, they requested the materials they would need for its construction, and were given some gummy bear ‘people’ to ‘live’ in their building, who had to survive the quake.

The buildings were tested on a tray of ‘jelly-Earth,’ made by Mrs Chipperfield. They were placed on the tray and secured as per the children’s designs. The Earthquake, caused by the shaking of the tray, lasted several seconds then the children did: a damage assessment of their building and a death count of their gummy ‘people.’ Any bears that fell off the building were considered a fatality and therefore improvements could have been made to their building to make it safer.

The children then evaluated their group’s building.