and Quakes is a program designed to help students more fully understand civil
engineering and earthquakes. This is accomplished through the use of Legos
and K'Nex and a Shaker Table to teach the fundamentals of structural design
and lessening the effects of earthquakes. On day one of the project the university
makes a presentation to the class that introduces earthquakes and the building
project. Two weeks later the buildings are tested on the shaking table and
then a second presentation is given, which introduces civil engineering concepts.
-- In response to a 3rd grade Stanley Clark Elementary teacher's request for
a guest lecture, Dr. Bill Spencer created a Lego (masonry) building contest
that taught the basics of structural engineering and introduced the fundamental
principles in his MR damping developments. This was the basis for Shakes and
Quakes Outreach Program.
1999 -- Shirley
Dyke developed the University Consortium on Instructional Shake Tables, sponsored
by the NSF and Mid-America
Earthquake Center. Twenty-three institutions joined this consortium, including
Notre Dame, with the goal of utilizing the Quanser tables for improving earthquake
engineering in undergraduate education and for educational outreach purposes.
-- The Shakes and Quakes Program was expanded to include K'Nex (steel) structures
and introduced to the 5th grade level at Stanley Clark Elementary.
-- Shakes and Quakes continued at Stanley Clark and was introduced to a seventh
grade class at Andrew Jackson M.S. In the spring, Shakes and Quakes was handed
over to the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute chapter at Notre Dame,
headed by Dr. Kurama.
to Beginning a Similar Program at Your University:
Obtain a shaking table. The UCIST and Notre Dame obtained portable Shaker
Tables from Quanser
Consulting. Manuals and software are availabe on the UCIST
your institution already has a shaking table and it is not portable, this
program can be changed so that on the second classroom visit made by the university
team, the students actually come to your facilities for "Quake Day."
Because students are building with K'Nex and Legos, it is necessary to have
special metal plates that will connect to the Shaking Table and building materials.
For information on these, you can e-mail Dr.
Spencer. Other supplies needed include Lego and K'Nex sets.
Using Simulink and WinCon3 you can create a model to run on the Table for
the Lego buildings that generates band-limited white noise. (**Running a historical
earthquake like Kobe will not cause the Lego buildings to fail**). For the
K'Nex a sine wave is used from Quanser's Pendant Controller that increases
in magnitude until the resonance frequency is reached. A sample whitenoise
model is provided: Sample Simulink model.
In the Matlab window you must first run the design.m
and varwhite.m files before building this model to
run in WinCon.
4.) Elementary and
middle school teachers will be able to use all of the resources provided on
this website under the Teacher link, which provides handouts, a lesson plan,
and various other resources. The university needs only to make two visits
of about 45 minutes each to the classroom:
#1: Students receive a project handout,
building supplies are given to the teacher, and a general overview of
Earthquakes and the project is given. (Sample ppt presentation Part
#2: At the end of two weeks, the university visits the classroom for Quake
Day, bringing the Shaking Table and computer and then a presenation on
Earthquake design and Structural Engineering is given to conclude (Part
II). As noted above, students could be taken to the university to
test their buildings if its shaking table is not portable.
has shown that recognition of student effort and acheivement is an important
component of the second visit. So for this visit, the chapter creates
a chart, with the names of each team and three colums for scoring: aesthetics,
earthquake performance and rental value. Prior to testing, secret ballots
are used by the EERI members to vote for the most aesthetically pleasing
building. The vote tally is logged on the chart in front of the class.
Then, the rental values for each building are logged on the chart. Finally,
through the rounds of testing, as the buildings fail, they are crossed
off the chart until one building remains standing. The score card really
helps to foster a spirit of competition and team pride.
To recognize the achievements of the building with the most rental value, an honorary business degree is awarded to the students on that team. Similar honorary degrees are presented in architecture for the aesthetic winner and structural engineering for the Shake Off survivor. These can be made with blank certificate paper available at any office supply store, gold foil seals and university logo stickers.
Feedback from previous participants:
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