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Earthquake Jello Lab Activity STEM

Grade Levels
5th - 10th
Formats Included
  • Word Document File
3 pages
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This lab or activity is a hands-on and collaborative learning lesson that incorporates the following:
Real-World Connections
Problem Solving
Inferencing and Predicting

Materials: this handout, mini-marshmellows, toothpicks, jello

Overview: Students will work together to tackle a real-world problem: engineers are constantly working to design and build buildings that can survive the impact of serious earthquakes. I show students some videos and pictures of before/after earthquake scenarios so that they can see how buildings have difficulty during earthquakes. Students collaborate to design a building with a structure that could withstand a minor earthquake as well as a major earthquake. Once they are done with their sketch/design, they will use toothpicks and mini-marshmellows to "build" the building. They put the building on a tray of jello and trade with another group. The two groups "test" the buildings and then record what happened. At the end, students revise ideas and create better possible solutions to this real-world problem. This lesson is a HIT with my students and they LOVE the hands on quality and real-world connection. I make the trays of jello the night before and then just keep them in my cafeteria during the day. It doesn't take much to make a wobbly surface!
Total Pages
3 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
1 hour
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation presented.
Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented.
Support claim(s) with logical reasoning and relevant, accurate data and evidence that demonstrate an understanding of the topic or text, using credible sources.
Compare and contrast the information gained from experiments, simulations, video, or multimedia sources with that gained from reading a text on the same topic.
Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; provide an accurate summary of the text distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.


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