2.Use the screws and 2x4’s to construct a 6’x 3’ frame. Reinforce at
corners, if you desire.
3.Drill the eyescrews into 2 opposite sides of the plywood square, 2 on
4.Use the remaining eyescrews on the frame, 2 on each 3’ end piece, about
5.Drill 4 holes (make a large square) in the plywood for mounting the
constructed “houses”. (You’ll need some wingnuts, washers, and bolts to do
this.) Make a note of where you drill, as that will determine where on the
“houses” students need to have their holes drilled, as well. I drill mine about
6” in from each corner, which means my students need to have their house bases
roughly 18” square, with holes near the corners.
6.Mount the cabinet handles near the edges of the plywood square, on the
same edges as the eyescrews.
7.Fasten the square to the frame using the bungee cords.
You can make your own “Richter Scale” or Mercalli Scale by
testing the frame with your own “houses” and making notes of how much damage is
done when you pull the bungee back 6”, 12”, 18”, etc. Use as many intervals as
you like, and mark them on the frame for future reference. How much damage will
occur will vary with the type of bungee, size of bungee, etc.
Instructions for “earthquake houses” are common online. I
have used the “Towering Toothpick” kits from various science supply catalogs, as
well as had the students make up their own kits using a specific number of
sticks, straws, etc. A nice comparison is to have some students use sticks,
others use straws, and see the difference that construction materials make. I’ve
also seen versions where the students had to suspend a mass within the
structure, etc. Lots of ways to do this, so feel free to experiment (pun