CM2 class has started a unit on PROCESS THAT SHAPE EARTH. The Big Idea behind this unit is to learn about the natural hazards caused by geologic forces in nature— earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, erosion, and landslides—and what people can do to be safe during/after these natural events.

This unit is different from our other science units in that it focuses on a single problem. That problem is, “How can people in our region reduce the impacts of natural hazards?”

This unit has a strong emphasis on students learning how engineers solve problems. The Next Generation Science Standards call this Engineering Design.

During this semester students will continue to learn about  how engineers develop solutions to problems that people face. They will test their own designs they create to see how well they perform under different conditions. At the conclusion of the unit, students will give a presentation and make various models of natural hazards using objects that we use in our daily life. 

For our chapter on Earthquakes, CM2s have taken upon a great challenge of constructing a simulation of an earthquake by making a Shake Table (device engineers use to simulate back and forth shaking of an earthquake) and are designing a Structure (using toothpicks, straws and modeling clay) that could hold up to 30 seconds of constant movement mimicking an earthquake.

Needless to say that the class is very excited to do their live demo of their structures on the shake table next week.  Some pics of our design phase are attached.