Unit Overview

Kids engineer model buildings that can better withstand the force of an earthquake.

  • Grades 3–5
  • Setting: Out of school
  • Science connection: Natural hazards
  • 9 activities
  • 45 minutes per activity

Standards alignment

We’ve developed each EiE unit with careful attention to educational standards in both science and technology/engineering. View Standards Alignments.

Unit Map

Kids engineer a tower and are introduced to the Engineering Design Process as a problem-solving tool.
Kids explore the idea that they, as engineers, can design and improve technology.
Kids are introduced to the problem: how can we stop buildings from being damaged during an earthquake?
Kids explore how earthquakes impact buildings of different heights and shapes.
Kids engineer ways to stop their buildings from sliding off of the shake table.
Kids engineer ways to stop their buildings from changing shape during a test on the shake table.
Groups plan, create, and test their buildings on the shake table.
Groups improve their initial designs, test them, and finalize their building codes.
Groups present their building codes and knowledge of the Engineering Design Process in an Engineering Showcase.

What's Included?

  • Educator Guide (PDF)
  • Engineering Journal (PDF)
  • Context-Setting Audio Messages (.mp3)
  • Print Materials (PDF)
  • Additional Resources