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Utah Science

Curriculum Consortium

Tyson Grover 

tgrover@dsdmail.net

Annette Nielson

afonnesbeck@dsdmail.net

Standard 7.2.3: Ask questions to identify constraints of specific geologic hazards and evaluate competing design solutions for maintaining the stability of human engineered structures such as homes, roads and bridges. Examples of geologic hazards could include earthquakes, landslides, or floods.

Student Friendly Objective: I can identify the strengths and weaknesses in human engineered structures that are designed to withstand geologic hazards.

Anchor Phenomenon: Homes in Utah have different characteristics than homes in Florida; Florida homes do not have basements and appliances such as water heaters must be elevated off the floor. Homes in Utah can have basements, and their water heaters must be strapped down.

Big Idea: Structures are engineered to withstand geologic hazards.

Students are engaged by building a model home and seeing what happens to it when a natural hazard occurs (flooding). They can then modify their design using supplied materials to see if it can withstand the hazard. They then investigate housing designs that includes stilts that prevent flooding and make it possible to build on steep terrain. Students explore several houses on stilts while making observations, asking questions, and researching the stability of this type of engineering (episode 1). They can continue learning about engineering solutions for areas prone to flooding or water issues by reading an article about why some houses don’t have basements (enrichment episode 1b).

Students continue looking at human engineered design and explain how they would modify a house to survive an earthquake, then design a solution to an engineering challenge (episode 2). They can also learn about the differences in engineered designs based on economic circumstances.

The inquiry moves upwards as students investigate skyscraper engineering (episode 3). Students view several skyscrapers while making observations, asking questions, and researching the stability of this type of engineering design. Students research and elaborate on how the stability of these buildings are designed to withstand wind.

Evaluation of student proficiency is determined by the assessment. Three options are available.

Storyline Narrative 7.2.3

You found the secret message! Huzzah!

Conceptual Understandings

Homes that are engineered for floods have different characteristics, such as stills or a lack of basements, then homes that are built in areas with other hazards.

How are homes engineered for other hazards such as wind or earthquakes?

Snapshot

Students will do a hands-on activity and research how houses in areas prone to flooding are engineered.

Episode 1

Question

How do engineers build homes that can withstand hazards?

 

Episode 2

Question

How are homes engineered for other hazards such as wind or earthquakes?

Snapshot

Students will learn about a new natural hazard and create structures that can withstand testing on an earthquake table.

Conceptual Understandings

Structures that are in earthquakes zones must be engineered differently than those in flood zones.

How are homes engineered for other hazards such as wind or earthquakes?

 

Conceptual Understandings

Skyscrapers have a weight inside that counterbalances the building during windy conditions and earthquakes. Structural integrity is maintained as skyscrapers are built of specific materials and with specific designs that balance the pressure being placed on the foundation.

Snapshot

Students will learn about a new natural hazard and create structures that can withstand testing on an earthquake table.

Episode 3

Question

How are homes engineered for other hazards such as wind or earthquakes?