MCEER logo

MCEER Bulletin, Volume 22, Number 1, December 2008

skip navigation

Volume 22, Number 1, December 2008

mceer logo

MCEER Hosts K-12 Student Visits to Laboratory at UB

Albion High School Students Test Building Models on Shake Table

Prof. Mosqueda addressing the students in the lab

Gilberto Mosqueda (right) introduced high school students to earthquake engineering concepts.

More than 30 students from Albion High School visited the Structural Engineering and Earthquake Simulation Laboratory (SEESL) at UB in April 2008 to participate in a National Science Foundation program aimed at engaging underrepresented students in engineering and science activities. The event was organized by Cemal Basaran and led by Gilberto Mosqueda, both from UB’s Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering.

students working on model

High school students designed and constructed models that incorporated seismic technologies.

Mosqueda introduced the students to the concepts of earthquake engineering design principles, using MCEER’s Connecte²d Teaching website, and then involved them in unique hands-on activities including design, construction and shake table testing of a wood building model. The students incorporated base isolation and bracing systems, and learned how these technologies improve the seismic performance of their building models. The models were then subjected to simulated earthquakes of increasing intensity until they all collapsed.

Earthquake Visit Motivates Students

MCEER hosted elementary school students for a combined lecture and demonstration on the core geophysical elements of earthquakes, the dangers from seismic disasters and the merits of earthquake engineering. The third grade students came from Thomas Marks Elementary School, which is located in Wilson, NY.

The visit, hosted by MCEER’s Andrew McNeil, included a presentation with many photos from past, historical earthquakes and videos from the NEESWood full-scale shake table testing of a wood frame house. According to teacher Mike France, the students “came back from the field trip really jazzed up to learn more about earthquakes… They actually took it upon themselves to read books about earthquakes (fiction and nonfiction) - I never had to say a word!”

To arrange an educational presentation at UB or tour of the SEESL laboratory facilities, please contact , (716) 645-3377.