"Spaghetti"

EarthQuake

 WebQuest

 


| Introduction | Task | Process | Resources | Evaluation | Conclusion | Notes to Teachers |

 

Introduction

     EARTHQUAKES AND OTHER NATURAL DISASTERS CAN DAMAGE OR DESTROY MAN-MADE STRUCTURES.  IMAGINE THAT YOU AND YOUR TEAMMATES WORK FOR A COMPANY THAT SPECIALIZES IN BUILDING DISASTER-PROOF STRUCTURES.  FOR AN EXAMPLE, YOUR COMPANY HAS BUILT A SKYSCRAPER IN MIAMI, FLORIDA.  THIS BUILDING IS DESIGNED TO WITHSTAND THE WINDS OF A HURRICANE.   FOR THIS PROJECT YOU HAVE BEEN ASKED TO DESIGN A SKYSCRAPER THAT WILL BE BUILT IN A CITY WHERE EARTHQUAKES SOMETIME OCCUR.
     THE CITY PLANNERS WOULD LIKE TO SEE YOUR DESIGN ALONG WITH THE DESIGNS OF OTHER COMPANIES.  THEY WILL SELECT THE BEST DESIGN FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE SKYSCRAPER. 

     Even with the best of planning structural failures can occur.  Check out the video clip and photos of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge Disaster.  This bridge became known as "Galloping Gertie."  High winds caused the collapse of this bridge in 1940.  How could this bridge have been designed differently to prevent its collapse?

Click for Tacoma Narrows Bridge Collapse

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Task

     Have you wondered why this WebQuest is called "Spaghetti EarthQuake?  Each team will design, build, and test a model structure made out of uncooked spaghetti sticks.  Your model will be tested on a specially built earthquake machine.  This machine simulates the stresses that occur during earthquakes.  Your model should be able to withstand a 10 second earthquake without collapsing.  You will be competing against other companies (teams) by attempting to build the best structure You and your teammates will give a brief presentation prior to the final test.  In this report you will discuss your Internet research and how it helped you design your structure.

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Process

PROJECT PROCEDURES / REQUIREMENTS

  1. Select an individual from your team to fulfill each of the following roles:

       Special Note:

       Taking on any of the roles above does not mean that you do all of the work.
       It means that you are in charge of that responsibility. Other members of the
       team can help you with your responsibilities and do part of the work.

 
2.  Search the Internet for information that could assist you in your project.  You may
       use the websites listed in the RESOURCES  section of this WebQuest or you can
       conduct your own search.  You should try to find websites that provide information on
       building structures that are able to withstand earthquakes or other natural disasters.
       Search for ideas that will help you engineer and design your structure.

       Special Note:

       You must provide the name(s) or URL's of the websites that you visited in your final
       presentation.   During your presentation you must explain how the information
       provided helped you throughout your project and to design your structure.

  3.  Using paper, poster board  or any other available resource make an architectural
       drawing of your structure. Your architect will make this diagram. Your
       design should support an egg at the top of the structure. The bottom of the
       egg must be at least 40 cm. above the tabletop.  Design carefully!  Your
       structure must be strong yet flexible. Your actual structure must closely match
       your drawing.  Only minor changes will be allowed.  Use your Internet research in
       your design. 

   4.  Purchase the materials needed for your structure. You may purchase the materials
        from the Construction Supply Company (teacher).  Your treasurer must complete
        a purchase order and write a check for the amount of materials you need. You
        will be given only 3 checks and purchase orders to use.  Your total budget for
        all materials is $4,875.00. You may not exceed your budget.

Special Note:

The materials you will be using are delicate and can be easily damaged
during construction or while being stored. You may purchase an insurance
policy to protect you from this loss. This policy will allow you to purchase
and additional $1,500.00 of materials but you have to abide by the restrictions listed below.  The cost of the policy is $500.00. This initial cost will be taken out of your budget. You may purchase a policy from the Insurance Agent (teacher).

        Insurance Restrictions:

    5.  Begin construction of your structure. All team members participate in the construction
         process.
  The project manager is responsible for storage
         of your structure and materials.  Be careful not to waste or unnecessarily damage
         your materials.  Clean up your area when finished.

    6.   Your group will make a presentation to the class prior to the final test. (2 to 3 min.)
          You should explain why you think your design will support the egg and withstand the
          earthquake.  You must cite examples from your internet research that support your
          design ideas.
       

PROJECT MATERIALS

                 PRODUCT                             COST (per item)                ITEM NUMBER

Rules for use of materials:

     To purchase materials your treasurer must complete the purchase order form and write a  check for the amount you are spending. The treasurer is responsible for keeping track of how much money is spent and how much money is left.  Purchase order forms and checks will be provided by the Banker (teacher).

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Resources

     Below you will find a few websites that you may wish to visit.  These sites may provide information that is useful to you in your structure design.  You may also wish to conduct your own Internet search.  By using a search engine such as Google or Yahoo you can further your search.  Use a combination of key words such as earthquake, building design, structures or other related terms to narrow your search.

     If you use the information in a website be sure to include it in your final report by giving the name, URL (address).  Also write a short description of what you learned in the website and how you used it in your project.

     Click on any of the blue words to go to that website.

Earthquake Engineering

Building Safer Structures

How we make structures earthquake resistant

Quake: Hazards & Preparedness

BUILDING BIG: All about skyscrapers

Exploratorium: Life Along the Faultline - Buidling for the Big One

NASA - Earthquake

Earthquake Proof Skyscrapers

Why the Skyscrapers Just Swayed

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Evaluation
 

RUBRIC

     Your grade will be based on a special grading rubric.  You should thoroughly review the grading rubric before you begin.  Be sure you and your teammates understand what criteria will be used to determine your grade.  (Scroll down to the bottom of this section and click "Print rubric" to view or print the grading rubric.)

     Be sure to check the SPECIAL INFORMATION  below.  This section gives additional information about grading.  These instructions will also tell you how the overall winner for the best structure will be determined.

SPECIAL INFORMATION

  1. Twenty points will deducted from your team score if you go over your budget.
     
  2. Individuals may lose points on their score for the following:

     After 2 incidents an individual will be removed from the activity
     and given a zero (0) on the project.

3.    The Building Inspector (teacher) will conduct final testing.  Each structure will
       be measured and inspected for project requirement violations. Violations will
       disqualify a structure from competition. The Building Inspector's decisions are final.

DETERMINING WINNERS

CLASS PERIOD CHAMPIONS AND THE OVERALL GRAND CHAMPION WILL BE DETERMINED BY THE FOLLOWING:

CLASS PERIOD CHAMPION

  1. The winning structure from each class period will be determined by the
    top overall score in the class.  In the event of a tie, the tiebreakers listed
    below will be used.

GRAND CHAMPION

   1.  The grand champion will be selected from the individual class winners.
   2.  The grand champion will be determined by the top overall score. In
        the event of a tie, the tie breakers listed below will be used.

TIE BREAKERS

Tie breakers will be used in the following order:

TEAM SCORE SHEET

     Your final grade for the project will be recorded on the "Spaghetti" Earthquake Team Score Sheet.  Be sure to look at both of these pages carefully.  This will help you to understand  the scoring process.  (Scroll down to the bottom of this section and Click "Print Team Score Sheet" to view or print this page.)

View or Print Rubric

View or Print Team Score Sheet

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Conclusion

     To successfully complete this WebQuest you must work together as a team.  There is a lot to do and to remember.  Help each other in your various roles.  Double check that you have followed all of the procedures and requirements correctly.  Finally, I hope that you have as much fun in completing this WebQuest as I have had  in creating it. 

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Last updated by Paul Elliott on 03/09/10