Milan Center for Innovative Studies

The earthquake tower project was an interesting project for the MCIS students. First, students were able to choose their own team. This made the project more open and less awkward. Students were supposed to build a structure out of a given number of straws, straight pins, paper clips, string, and cardboard. These structures were supposed to be able to withstand an “earthquake” via the earthquake simulator. These structures had to pass different levels of weighted sandbag tests with the earthquake simulator running. Teams were given a first try, then were able to revise and rebuild their towers and try the earthquake simulator again. Every team had to rebuild their towers, but all teams came back to the simulator with stronger and better towers. This project was focused on revising and rebuilding which helped students learn that they won’t always have perfect ideas in the beginning, but that revision is always needed and necessary to make a great final product.