Quake-proof construction comes down to STEM power

Updated: 07/25/2014 2:29 PM
Created: 07/25/2014 2:27 PM WNYT.com

BALLSTON SPA - Summer doesn't have to mean staying home and playing video games.

For an ambitious group of fourth, fifth and sixth graders in Ballston Spa, it's all about science, technology, engineering, and math.

“For the week, I've got these kids learning about STEM, getting them into an engineering mind, trying to get them to be creative,” explained Darrel Ackroyd, a Ballston Spa teacher.

The students are putting together model buildings that can withstand the power of an earthquake.

They built a one story house, tested it out, seeing the faults behind it.

However, with teamwork and ingenuity comes success.

They pull each structure back two inches at a time, and snap it back forward to simulate an earthquake.

Once they conquer the three story, twelve inch earthquake proof buildings, they move on to their next challenge – dropping care packages.

“Getting a simulation on, especially with the earthquakes and flooding and everything that goes on, they're going to learn how people can get food and materials,” said Ackroyd.

The students are using science and engineering to tackle real world issues.

“I'm hoping they can take what they've learned and know that they can be creative, they can share ideas, they can work together,” Ackroyd noted.


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