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Name of Activity Earthquake Boxes
Author Emma Coltoff, Rebecca Larson
Keywords earthquake, natural disasters, non-lego
Subject Building/EDP, Earth Science
Grade Level 4, 5
Time 1 Hour Total
Brief Description Continuation of the natural disasters unit in which students construct/modify a town to withstand an “earthquake,” or the shaking of the earthquake box.
Lesson Objectives: For the students to understand how height, width, and overall city design (loose items) affect its reaction to an earthquake.
Materials Needed: Earthquake box (the one from this activity now lives in the CEEO):
*large box
*cardboard platform
*rubber bands
*paper clips
*marbles or another object that can roll around in the bottom of the box

City:
*cardboard platform
*saran wrap (for later water-based activities)
*legos
*masking tape
*string
*popsicle sticks
*cardboard for homes

Preparation and Set Up: Construct the earthquake box:
1) cut a piece of cardboard that is slightly smaller than the height & width of the shoebox
2) put one hole at each of the four corners of the shoebox and platform
3) thread rubber bands through the holes on the shoebox
4) attach paper clips to the rubber bands
5) hook the paper clips into the holes on the platform
6) pour the marbles into the bottom of the box
7) make sure that the platform stays attached to the shoebox but wiggles when the shoebox is shaken
Knowledge Background Basic earthquake causes/effects
Procedure 1) Have the students construct their towns (emphasis on the structures in it rather than decorating the town itself) 2) When students are ready to test, have them place their towns on top of the platform and shake the box at different levels of intensity (Richter scale) 3) Send them back to reflect/fix any buildings that may have toppled/fallen apart 4) Conclude as a class
Umbrella Unit/Curriculum (if applicable) Natural Disasters
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