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Education and Community Outreach

Faculty and graduate students in the Large Scale Structures Lab

CCEER is committed to educating students and involving them with our many laboratory projects. Our goal is to educate the public on the importance of earthquake engineering research  and provide the opportunity for anyone to come see our amazing earthquake simulation facilities.

Our outreach events engage students from kindergarten through college, and we participate in both on-site and community-based outreach events.

Kelly Doyle explains a demonstration in the lab

Tour the Lab

We offer tours of the laboratory to all ages and we would be happy to host your group. Tours can be arranged Monday through Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Schedule a Tour

Summer campers on a field trip

Summer Camp Programs

As part of the College of Engineering's annual summer camp program, faculty from The Center for Civil Engineering Earthquake Research host a Civil Engineering Camp, designed for students ages 14 -1 7.

During the camp, students learn about bridge types, bridge construction, water resources, water treatment and soil liquefaction. Fields trips may include locations such as local bridges or waste water treatment plants.

View upcoming camp events and dates.

Bridge building with toothpicks and marshmallows

Seismic Challenge

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering holds seismic challenges for K-12 students in the area. The competition varies by age group and challenges students to construct earthquake resistant structures out of gumdrops and toothpicks or balsa wood. The structures are tested on a mini shake table to determine whether or not each building is earthquake resistant.

We can facilitate the competition for students of all ages. Depending on teacher needs, the challenge can take as little as 2.5 hours (for gumdrop structures) or as long as one week of class time (for balsa wood structures). We will host the students on campus, provide a classroom to work in, supply all materials and instruction free of charge, and take students on a tour of our large shake table laboratory.

For more information, please contact Sherif Elfass.

Make your own earthquake display

Make Your Own Earthquake

Our facility is home to the Make Your Own Earthquake activity. This project, which builds on the popular activity developed at UC Santa Barbara, allows individuals to jump on a mat and register the force of the earthquake created. Participants can print out a personalized copy of their earthquake to take home.

Groups touring the lab may use the Make Your Own Earthquake Activity, which takes about one minute per person on the tour. NEES@Nevada has also partnered with the Discovery Museum to install a second Make Your Own Earthquake exhibit in their building.

View the UC Santa Barbara Make Your Own Earthquake curriculum.

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