An Overview:

The purpose of this project is to introduce students to the various factors contributing to the design of structures in seismic regions, including the competing constraints of form and function, economics and most importantly its ability to survive a major earthquake.

Project Details:

Up to this point, Shakes and Quakes has been used in addition to, or as a supplement for, the textbook during an Earth Science unit on earthquakes. The entire project lasts 2 to 3 weeks, with one week devoted to planning and building the Lego structures. The second (or third) week is used for constructing the K'Nex building, testing the buildings on Quake Day, and writing the final reports. The first and last classes will be led by EERI representatives, while the teacher is responsible for conducting the discussions and group activities in between.

How to Bring Shakes and Quakes to Your Classroom:

1.) Contact the university to determine resource availability:

2.) Develop your lesson plan and determine a time table for the unit. The following resources were developed in conjuction with a previous Shakes and Quakes teacher participant:

More Resources:

You can contact EERI Vice President Liz Kerr
School: 631-4307


EERI chapter --

Dru Wrasse, Stanley Clark Elementary, 2 years with the program --

Dr. Yahya Kurama,


1.) Earthquakes

Click on Earthquake Activity, Earthquake Products, EQ Facts & Education

2.) Structures and Engineering

Feedback From Previous Students and Teachers:

Student comments

Teacher comments



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