12 Mission Instructions

Your mission is to create a robotic seismograph that can travel to remote locations and measure tiny tremors. First, you will invent a way to simulate earthquakes so you can test your robot safely.  Then you will design, test, and refine your robot until it is gathering the most useful data for you. 

2. Design Your Shake Table

Your first design challenge in this mission is to decide how you will simulate earthquakes. Scientists simulate earthquakes all the time - to look at how different types of buildings will stand up to earthquakes, to test and calibrate earthquake detection equipment, and for other scientific studies.

The simplest type of earthquake simulator is an earthquake shaking table, or shake table. These tables provide a surface that can move in all directions. For this project, find a surface that you can easily shake back and forth (a small end table, for example), or you can build a real shake table that will more closely replicate an earthquake. Check out this resource about building your shake table.

Sketch a plan for your shake table on a piece of paper.