Engineering for Earthquakes Lab

Engineering for Earthquakes

Grades: 4-8
Duration: 90 minutes

Available Times: 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

*Start and end times may be flexible. Please speak to the Group Reservations specialist when booking.

Concepts/Skills: Earthquake causes and effects, theory of plate tectonics, structural engineering and design


Construct seismically sound structures to survive “The Big One.” Students work as teams to practice the structural design and engineering process as they learn about one of California’s greatest natural threats: earthquakes.

Lab Guide

Design a robust learning experience by selecting resources from this guide that fit the needs of your students. Reinforce learning before, after and even during your visit by diving deeper into some of the science and engineering concepts.

Lab-Related Activities

Earthquake in a Box

45 minutes

Students will see first-hand how tectonic plates interact and the consequences.

Convection Currents

20 minutes

Educator demonstration of how convection currents in the Earth’s mantle cause tectonic movement.

Engineering for Earthquakes Lab

Exhibit Connections

Make connections between learning from the lab and the exhibits and programs found in The Tech Interactive’s galleries. For more exhibit connections, see the Lab Guide above.