Prodell students shake things up with STEM earthquake lesson

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Students at the Middle School learned the concepts of force and engineering design with a recent STEM lesson on earthquakes.

After studying how earthquakes occur because of pressure that builds in the Earth’s crust and is released as energy, the sixth-graders in Jackie Reyling’s science class built towers to test if they could withstand an earthquake.

They worked in groups and used the limited materials of straws, tape and paperclips to build their two-story structures. The goal was to support one small beanbag on the top story and two on the bottom level.

According to Reyling, the students conducted tests and observed what worked, what didn’t and, just as professional structural engineers do, continued to improve their designs for the best results.