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On a Plate

How can we reduce the damage caused by earthquakes and tsunamis?

Over 3 billion people live in parts of the world where the risk of seismic activity and earthquakes are high.

We can’t stop earthquakes or predict when they will hit. All we can do is hope they never occur, or prepare for the worst in case they do.

Students will investigate the Earth’s structure and how the movement of tectonic plates causes earthquakes and tsunamis. They must use this knowledge to design solutions to reduce the damage caused by seismic events if and when they occur.


Key tasks


  • Plate tectonics experiments. Students will conduct experiments to mimic the convection currents driving plate movement and continental drift. They will simulate the different shock waves generated by an earthquake and measure them using a seismograph which they build in class

  • Earthquake & tsunami simulations. Students will simulate the impact of an earthquake and a tsunami on buildings and coastal landscapes. They will design and test solutions to help mitigate the damage caused by these seismic events as part of their solution 

Key facts:

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Curriculum information

Science - Earth and Space Sciences - Plate tectonics

ACSSU180 | VCSSU127 | SC5-12ES



15 - 20 lessons

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