Testing Model Structures: Jell-O Earthquake in the Classroom

Type of Resource



From TeachEngineering - Students learn how engineers design and construct buildings to withstand earthquake damage by building their own model structures using toothpicks and marshmallows. They experiment to see how earthquake-proof their buildings are by testing them in an earthquake simulated in a pan of Jell-O®.

Performance Expectations

4-ESS3-2   Generate and compare multiple solutions to reduce the impacts of natural Earth processes on humans.

3-5-ETS1-1   Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.

3-5-ETS1-3   Plan and carry out fair tests in which variables are controlled and failure points are considered to identify aspects of a model or prototype that can be improved.