Schools students test quake resilient design at UC

27 September 2016

High school students will be able to use UC's Structural Engineering Laboratory to test the quake resilience of their mini-house prototypes these school holidays.

Schools students test quake resilient design at UC

QuakeCoRE and UC Quake Centre outreach coordinator Brandy Alger will be running the QuakeCraft challenge, a free three-day workshop in which Year 10 secondary school students will design and prototype a sustainable tiny house for extreme conditions and natural disasters, including earthquakes.

High school students will be able to use the University of Canterbury’s state-of the-art Structural Engineering Laboratory (SEL) to test the quake resilience of their mini-house prototypes these school holidays as part of a new design challenge.

From 28 - 30 September, project lead Brandy Alger will be running the QuakeCraft challenge, a free three-day workshop in which Year 10 secondary school students will design and prototype a sustainable tiny house for extreme conditions and natural disasters, including earthquakes.

Developed by the University of Canterbury's Quake Centre research centre in partnership with Ara and Fab Lab, this event has been created to inspire New Zealand’s next generation of designers and engineers.

Alger, the QuakeCoRE and UC Quake Centre outreach coordinator, describes it as a friendly competition to design a resilient and sustainable pop-up model house.

“Design teams will work together to problem solve complex structural issues – using the fundamentals of physics, geometry, calculus and material science,” she says.

Using 3D printing, laser cutting, and Computer Aided Design, teams of high-school students will design their own model house and test its structural integrity on a shake table in the University of Canterbury’s world-class seismic testing facility.

The design thinking approach encompasses resilient community building with reference to New Brighton, South Pacific Islands and many other areas in high need of housing.

“QuakeCraft addresses the multi-faceted atmosphere and qualifications to design houses for areas in high need of housing. The programme also approaches modernising traditional designs, such as fale and whare,” Alger says.

“Attendees will also be mentored by current UC and Ara students and will be able to connect with these students. The overall goal is that more students consider tertiary education in the area of earthquake resilience and to start thinking about solutions to real world issues facing these communities.”

Afterward, the programme will be developed into a supplemental workshop that can be held at various schools. Any school will be able to replicate this project and will be distributed at a national level, she says.

For further information please contact:

Brandy Alger, Outreach Coordinator for Quake Centre and QuakeCoRE | Mobile: 021 204 2847 | brandy.alger@canterbury.ac.nz Find out more on the QuakeCraft website.

or

For further information please contact:
Margaret Agnew, Senior External Relations Advisor, University of Canterbury
Phone: +64 3 369 3631 | Mobile: +64 275 030 168 | margaret.agnew@canterbury.ac.nz
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