Survive That Tsunami! Testing Model Villages in Big Waves

Type of Resource



From TeachEngineering - Students use a table-top-sized tsunami generator to observe the formation and devastation of a tsunami. They see how a tsunami moves across the ocean and what happens when it reaches the continental shelf. Students make villages of model houses and buildings to test how different material types are impacted by the huge waves. They further discuss how engineers design buildings to survive tsunamis. Much of this activity setup is the same as for the Mini-Landscape activity

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-ETS1-2   Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.

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.