Need help with STEAM project...

Discussion in 'Middle School / Junior High' started by crazygood, Mar 7, 2017.

  1. crazygood

    crazygood Rookie

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    Mar 7, 2017

    For next year I'm looking into creating a "Masters of Disaster" Steam project. Basically they research tornadoes, hurricanes, and earthquakes, then they design and build structures to withstand the weather event they are assigned.

    I have heard of other middle school science classes doing this project (tornado structures and hurricane structures) but I do not know how to replicate the hurricane and tornadoes. I know that i can purchase or build an earthquake table but I don't want it to be too bulky or unwieldy . I am curious to know if anybody has any experience simulating these weather events in their classroom so as to test the students structures (I am thinking they will make it out of toothpicks but it really depends at how effective the weather event is at destroying).
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Mar 7, 2017

    So my class did hurricane houses this year. They built on aluminum pans. Since the majority of hurricane damage is water and wind, we designed different category storm conditions: 1/2 gallon water and low speed of leaf blower for Cat 1, 1 gallon water and medium speed for Cat 3. 2 gallons and high speed for Cat 5.
     
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  4. crazygood

    crazygood Rookie

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    Mar 7, 2017

    thanks for the reply. Very interesting, I didnt think of the aluminum pan. I don't have a leaf blower (my parents might). Maybe if I use weaker building materials and just use different settings on a fan? Ill have to play around with it.

    So just to clarify, the group makes their "house" and puts it in the aluminum pan. Then you put the water in? And then you add the wind? Im curious in how much the water gets moved around, ill have to test.
     
  5. crazygood

    crazygood Rookie

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    Mar 7, 2017

    One more thing, do you mind telling me what building materials you guys used?
     
  6. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Mar 9, 2017

    The kids collected empty cereal and other light cardboard boxes, 2 feet of tape, rubber bands, glue....
     
  7. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    Mar 9, 2017

    Just a thought--perhaps the earthquake research could include quakes that are the possible result of fracking.
     
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  8. vickilyn

    vickilyn Virtuoso

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    Mar 10, 2017

    The study in fracking is highly appropriate in locations where fracking is being used and controversial. Good catch, Obadiah!
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2017
  9. crazygood

    crazygood Rookie

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    Mar 11, 2017

    Yes that is a great idea. Later in the year we actually have a mini research/debate on the topic. But this would be great to do leading into this build
     

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