Year 5: How do architects design buildings to withstand earthquakes?

Year 5 have learned about the devastating effects earthquakes can have, and different design ideas that architects use to try and make buildings in earthquake zones safe. We have used spaghetti and marshmallows, K’nex and Magnetix to see where we could find weaknesses in different structural designs, and how to make the strongest joins. Finally, we used everything we had learned to create replica earthquake proof buildings using art straws, playdoh and masking tape which were tested on our wobble board.


  • I enjoyed learning new ways to join the structures together.
  • I enjoyed using the magnets because it helped me visualise the different shapes in my head.
  • It was really fun and creative to find different ways to strengthen our joins.
  • I enjoyed learning about the different ways architects protect buildings in earthquake zones.
  • It was really challenging on our final design to build with minimal construction tools.
  • It was really frustrating at times but none of us gave up – we all kept trying!