Creating the Virtual Model
Overview
 This lesson explores earthquake engineering design with the help of Shake and Quake, an earthquake simulator, specific to three earthquakes (seismic
events); El Centro (1940), Northridge (1994), and Kobe (1995).
Estimated Time
 Five minutes engagement activity
 3045 minutes lesson
Materials
 Classroom of computers with Internet access
 Worksheets include Data Log and three earthquake information sheets (El Centro, Northridge, and Kobe)
 Pencils and/or pens
 Rulers
 Deck of cards (engagement activity)
Objectives
 Students will understand the importance of support placement and materials used, in relation to reallife seismic events.
 Through the use of worksheets, discussions, and reporting about the event the students experience the importance of earthquake engineering design in our
lives.
National Standards Addressed
 Math (Presented by National Council of Teachers of Mathematics in 2000)
 Numbers & Operations
 Use visualization, spatial reasoning, and geometric modeling to solve problems.
 Data Analysis and Probability
 Develop and evaluate inferences and predictions that are based on data.
 Problem Solving
 Solve problems that arise in mathematics and in other contexts
 Apply and adapt a variety of appropriate strategies to solve problems
 Communication
 Communicate their mathematical thinking coherently and clearly to peers, teachers, and others
 Connections
 Recognize and apply mathematics in contexts outside of mathematics
 Science (Presented by National Research Council in 1996)
 Science in Personal and Social Perspectives
 Natural hazards
 Risks and benefits
 Technology (Presented by the International Society for Technology in Education in 1998)
 Technology productivity tools
 Students use technology tools to enhance learning, increase productivity, and promote creativity.
 Technology problemsolving and decisionmaking tools
 Students use technology resources for solving problems and making informed decisions.
 Students employ technology in the development of strategies for solving problems in the real world.
Engagement Activity (optional)
 Have students split into groups of 4. Give each group a deck of cards, ask the students to build a structure, using however many cards they wish, in
whatever form they want, but using only the cards. Inform the students that after a few minutes you will come around and shake their table.
 After you have shaken the table, ask the students briefly what could have made their structures stronger to stand up to your gentle (or not so gentle)
shaking of the table.
Instructional Plan
 Group students: small groups of 24 work best, but depending on the number of computers available, you may opt for larger groupings.
 Give each person the Data Log worksheet, and each group at least one earthquake information sheet. Worksheets are available for
the earthquakes titled El Centro, Kobe, and Northridge. You may choose to either give each group a different seismic event to focus on, or if you have more
time, you may give every group all 3 seismic events.
 Instruct the students to find information on their specific seismic event, using the resources listed on the information sheets.
 Have the students gather around a single computer, and walk the students through the basics of the Shake and Quake earthquake
simulator. Instruct the students to find information on their specific seismic event, using the resources listed on the information sheets.
 Have each group sit at a single computer, and direct the students to the simulator located at
Connecte²d Teaching.
 Students will walk through each step of the Shake and Quake module, using the seismic event specific to their group as the seismic event experienced in the
module.
 After each group is finished, take a quick survey to see what supports they used, what seismic event was experienced, and how their building withstood the
earthquake.
 Encourage each group to improve their model so that the building will better withstand an earthquake with the same or stronger magnitude.
Sustaining, Concluding, or Extending Activities (optional)
 Concluding

 After students have completed the Shake and Quake earthquake simulator, students will fill out their Data Logs writing a description
of what they built, what event they were given, and the results of this combination. The chart of money spent should also be filled out in this
log.
 Extending

 Have students switch seismic events, or how they built their structure, staying within the budget, with the least amount of damage.
Evaluation and Assessment
 Through the Data Logs and the discussions between the students during class, comprehension can be evaluated, as to the
importance of building materials in relation to the seismic events themselves.
 Students will also be able to relate the information from the earthquake simulator to the blueprints drawn in a previous lesson, to compare how their
prior structures would have survived a particular seismic event.
EResources, Print Materials, and Handson Activities
 Data Log Handout
 Earthquake information sets El Centro, Northridge, and Kobe
 URL for Shake & Quake earthquake simulator: