How to Make a Shake Table for Earthquake Studies
January 26, 2015 Must Read

The next part of our Earth Science unit was earthquakes. Today’s post I’ll explain how we made our shake table, but before I do that I want to talk a minute about of some of the activities we did leading up to that. We used a lot of the activities from Engineering Adventures.  The kids’ first activity was building towers. Their first project was to build a tower of  index cards and 12 inches of tape that was 10 inches high and could support a stuffed animal. Their next project was to build a tower with sticky notes (and nothing else).  We talked about the importance of making earthquake-resistant buildings.  The kids learned about building codes and we talked about the building skeleton.  We peeked into the attic area and checked out the building skeleton of our house:


We talked quite a bit about building design and then we got to the *really* fun stuff!  Since I explained all this in a video, I’ll be brief here on the blog.  To build our shake table we used

  • foam
  • 2 large pieces of cardboard
  • heavy screws attached with duct tape
  • elastic
  • 2 PCV pipes that I cut down to be about 10 inches long

Earth Science Earthquakes - Making a Shake TableHere is a quick video of how we made it:

If for some reason that doesn’t work, you can click on the picture below and that’ll take you there:


If you watched the video, then you’ll see that from there, we went on to build the skeleton of a building out of marshmallows and spaghetti.


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Earth Science Unit - Earthquake Shake Table


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