by Daniel Freeman
Their projects were shaken. Victoria Stone, the 4-H associate with Maryland extension, came to the North East Library to teach children about earthquakes and their impact.
"I think it (the program) really excites them for thinking about their future and what they want to do. I also think it prepares them for earthquakes," said Stone.
Stone started the program by teaching the children about how earthquakes work and how they are measured. She then showed the kids how to make their own seismograph using a water bottle, tape, a ruler, a marker, and a piece of paper.
To simulate how the seismograph worked, the students pounded the tables to create an "earthquake" to make the marker move on the page to draw lines.
"I learned how to measure earthquakes and what they do," said Elle Harman. "It was hard to build a tower out of straws, but it was fun."
The children worked in teams of two to three to build a tower. They used masking tape and plastic straws to build their towers. Some built tall towers while others were smaller.
"I learned how earthquakes can be made and how bad they can be. I actually really liked building, it was fun," said Alina Chambers. "I had fun and learned something new."
After they completed the building, they placed their towers on an earthquake simulator. The simulator was a hand drill with plaster mixer attached under a piece of wood in a plastic storage tub. Each tower was then placed on the flat wood surface that represented the earth. Each child pulled the trigger to see if their tower could withstand an earthquake. The towers were also placed on top of two other surfaces, sand and dirt.
There were 20 children who attended the presentation at the North East Library last week.
"I learned how to build different buildings to stand in sand and dirt and to withstand an earthquake. I (also) learned how to build with limited materials like tape and straws. (I think) building with sticks and tape would be better. I also learned to work as a team," said Blaine Creese.