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Timescale of Earth's Events Activity for Kids

Shake Table DIY

  • Duration: 30 min
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Cost: $0 to $5

Make a shake table to test different building designs!

Material List

  • 2Textbooks
  • 4Marbles
  • 2Large rubber bands
  • 30Sugar cubes


  • 1Use two large rubber bands to secure two textbooks together.
  • 2Place four marbles in-between the two books.
  • 3Make sure the marbles are close to the corners but will not fall out when shaking.
  • 4On top of the books, build a sugar cube house that’s three cubes high and three cubes wide.
  • 5Now push and pull on the top book to simulate an earthquake.
  • 6Try building structures of different sizes and shapes to see which one is best.

How It Works

A shake table can help engineers build earthquake-proof buildings. Buildings that are tall will shake more than buildings that are close to the ground. With this in mind, engineers can use what they learned from using a shake table to change designs to keep buildings from falling down and hurting people during an earthquake.

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