STEM Challenge Earthquake Resistant Building

STEM Challenge Earthquake Resistant Building
STEM Challenge Earthquake Resistant Building
STEM Challenge Earthquake Resistant Building
STEM Challenge Earthquake Resistant Building
STEM Challenge Earthquake Resistant Building
STEM Challenge Earthquake Resistant Building
STEM Challenge Earthquake Resistant Building
STEM Challenge Earthquake Resistant Building
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5 MB|27 pages
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  1. STEM Challenges Perfect for Earth Day and Spring: This is a set of three challenges that all involve the earth! Students will be building earthquake resistant structures, solar ovens, and water pipelines. Although these make excellent challenges for Earth Day, they may be used at any time of year!
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  2. What a great little bundle this is for you! It is a combination of three fabulous natural events that kids have a fascination with- earthquakes, flooding, and volcanoes! Note: These three challenges may be purchased separately and in other money-saving bundles! These three challenges all deal wit
    Save $2.00
  3. Perfect for Back to School Time! This is an amazing collection of kid-tested STEM Challenges appropriate for 3rd grade students. It includes 20 best-selling STEM Challenges and a Bonus Project.Note: Each of the challenges is available individually and in other money-saving bundles.The challenges cho
    Save $20.00
Product Description

This amazing challenge has turned out to be one of our favorites! It’s an earthquake simulation activity that has students building and shaking! Students must build a homelike structure following strict rules and then test the stability of it by using a shake tray. Your kids will love building the structures and cheering when they remain standing!

This challenge is available in money-saving bundles:

STEM Challenge Bundle Earth Series

STEM Challenges Natural Events Bundle

STEM by the Month

NOTE: This resource contains many ways to complete this challenge! Check for more details below!

In this challenge, students will be using materials to design a three-story structure that can withstand being shaken in a mild earthquake simulation. The “earth” pan you provide for the simulation uses an easy supply- gelatin - or you can construct a shake tray following the simple instructions included in the resource package. Just prepare the shake tray and then let students add their structures to it. The structures are built using only three materials, must resemble a building (not a tower), and be stable enough to keep standing. Will the buildings survive the mild earthquake?

NOTE: I tested this challenge using a pan of gelatin for each group- but you can use one pan for the entire class. It has also been tested using the second shake tray.

The package specifically includes the cover, teacher background, materials and preparation page, 5 pages of teacher directions for the gelatin version, a constraints list, 4 pages of photographs, two extra Hints page, student lab sheet with sample answers, a scoring rubric, and the Terms of Use page. All forms are provided in an editable format.The NEW PAGES include: teacher directions for a plastic bin shake tray, three pages of photos and lists for alternative materials, and some final ideas and hints. The page count listed for this package includes everything.


Which shake tray will you use? Materials for each are listed.

  • Shake Tray #1 - metal or plastic pans and gelatin
  • Shake Tray #2 - plastic bin, foam board, elastic or ribbon, and binder clips.

Which version of materials will you use? Materials for each are listed.

  • Challenge Version #1 - mini marshmallows, toothpicks, and cardboard pieces.
  • Challenge Version #2 - narrow and wide craft sticks, masking tape, and cardboard pieces.
  • Challenge Version #3 - straws, masking tape, cardboard pieces.

This challenge will need 1-2 class sessions (1-2 hours) to complete.

This challenge works great with two more in the Earth Series:

Build a Solar Oven

Build a Water Pipeline

Or save money and grab the Earth Series Bundle:

STEM Challenge Bundle Earth Series

Here's a perfect booklet to go with this challenge:

Earth Day Little Flipper


You might also like these STEM Challenges:

Build a Bottle Car featuring Newton’s 3rd Law

Build an Egg Car featuring Newton’s 2nd Law

Build a Newton’s Cradle featuring Newton’s 3rd Law


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