Learning About Earthquakes

31 03 2014

DSC_0141Recently, all 6th graders were invited to the Learning Commons for a special presentation about earthquakes from BPS Science Specialist, Mr. Musselman.

The earthquake show shared how earthquakes occur, where earthquakes are most likely to happen, and some of the engineering challenges architects face when building “quake-resistant” structures. They discussed the layers of the earth and the tectonic plates that make up the lithosphere. Then shared how faults are created and models of the seismic waves that are released when an earthquake occurs.
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Lastly, they modeled harmonic resonance in buildings of different height where one building shakes more than the others and liquefaction, a phenomena that occurs when the sediment based earth becomes liquid like as shaking creates more space between the sediment particles and water seeps into those spaces.
In addition to the presentation, the grade 6 science teachers have been engaging in various labs and activities to learn more about earthquakes. In Mrs. Shea’s class, students used graham crackers to represent tectonic plates, and frosting to represent the magma.
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Team 6C has completed the construction of their earthquake safe houses.  Each team designed, shared ideas and constructed with recyclable materials.  Also, the students designed an egg capsule to test the durability of their house in the simulator (thanks to Mr. Kille for the structure).  This was quite a sight!  The kids did a great job working collaboratively and seemed to enjoy this hands-on project.
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