By Jordan Wells 6th Grade Earth Science

Earthquakes PBL

This project was about forces created by earthquakes and how a home can be built to withstand them. We found a home location in California with low seismic activity. Next, we used structural engineering to design his home to withstand the shaking produced by an earthquake. We built a model of our design and tested it on a shake table.

Driving question

How can we, as structural engineers, construct a two story house in California for Tony Stark that will withstand seismic activity?

- My design for Tony Stark's home was flexible wooden walls, a smaller second story and shock absorbing springs under the base.

- Main points learned by completing the project: First, I learned that earthquakes create many forces and shaking due to stress along faults. Next I learned that some locations have very low seismic activity. I also learned that the best way to design a home to resist shaking was with flexible walls, shock absorbing materials and a smaller second story.

Pictures from Earthquake PBL

Shake Table and Interview

Here is a video of our model on the shake table. Followed by my interview.

Shake Table
Our shake table was powered by a clean energy source: the smartest scientist I have ever met.

30 Hands Project

Atmosphere and Human Impact:

From this project, I learned about the effect of our activities on the climate and atmosphere. I learned about the greenhouse effect and human actions that are increasing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. I also learned about other climate changes like rising sea levels and changes in precipitation patterns.

I enjoyed researching human impact on our climate. I learned new ideas about different ecosystems. I also enjoyed being creative putting together the slides and script.

Atmosphere and Human Impact Video:

Atmosphere and Human Impact Jordan Wells

Invention Convention

Problem: Some energy sources today burn fossil fuels that contribute to climate change. We are creating a clean energy source with our invention. Our invention will not add any greenhouse gas to the atmosphere.

Our invention is a waterloop dam. It is a dam that uses water at a high elevation to turn a turbine. When the water passes through the turbine and reaches the lower elevation, geothermal energy raises it again by turning it to steam. Steam rises and condensation is collected at the higher elevation. This continues the loop. Our invention solves this problem by using very clean sources to generate useful energy.

Favorite Unit (extra paragraph #4)

My favorite unit was weathering and erosion. I thought it was amazing that very hard objects like stone can be weathered by forces of nature. I learned the processes of chemical and mechanical weathering. I learned that over time, natural forces can change landscapes like rivers and hills. My favorite lab was the stream bed lab. We did many experiments showing how water can change the course of a river.