Earthquake-Resistant Buildings

Today we discussed the advantages of building prototypes as part of the engineering design process. A prototype is a way to test a concept or design quickly and cheaply, before investing a lot of time and money into building something that might not work. We tested different ways to construct a model out of blocks in order to find out which design features would provide a building with the most resistance to the destructive shaking of an earthquake. Our test results suggest that using base isolation might be the best way to keep those buildings from falling down during an earthquake, and we didn’t have to build a million-dollar building to find this out!

Edificios resistentes a los Terremotos

Hoy discutimos sobre las ventajas de construir prototipos dentro del proceso de diseño ingenieril. Un prototipo es una forma de probar un diseño o un concepto de manera rápida y económica; antes de invertir mucho tiempo y dinero en construir algo que probablemente no funcione. En la actividad, probamos distintas formas de construir un modelo usando bloques para encontrar, cual característica del diseño proporcionaría un edificio con la mayor resistencia a la sacudida de un terremoto destructivo.

Does your child enjoy our visits? Please consider supporting our program so we can reach more students!


Phillip has a BS and MS in Biology from Western Washington University, and is currently earning a PhD in Environmental Studies at Antioch University New England. His research interests are in tropical rainforest ecology and animal-plant interactions. He will be doing his doctoral dissertation research on tropical seed dispersal ecology in the montane rainforests of Rwanda. Phillip has taught though various adjunct positions at several colleges in New England, teaching biology, ecology, earth science, environmental science, and general science at Babson College, North Shore Community College, Wheelock College, Merrimack College, and Mount Ida College.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.