Let's start with a question: When buildings are being designed, what do architects and engineers need to take into account?

Well, on our list we have said: 

  • What the building will be used for?
  • Where it is located
  • How it will look? 
  • What will it be made from?
  • How will it be safe? 

There is a very cool building in Taiwan called Taipei 101. When designing this building, the aim was to create a really tall skyscraper BUT the challenge was that it’s location would be within a known earthquake zone. 

How could this challenge be overcome? This is where the structural and civil engineers come in with their ability to problem-solve and think outside the box. They had to brainstorm and address how to prevent damage if an earthquake occurred or even in the situation of gale force winds. They decided to add a tuned mass damper, which looks like a big steel pendulum ball, near the top floors.

If winds or an earthquake occur to shake the building, this tuned mass damper counteracts that movement to bring the building back to equilibrium (a state of balance). We told you it was cool! 

Task: Do some research of Taipei 101 and take note of it's structure and how the tuned mass damper works 

This week's episode of DreamSpace TV challenges all of us to put our own engineering hat on. We are going to use materials to build a structure that can also withstand an earthquake (or a little shake!).

Don’t worry, it doesn’t need to be like Taipei 101. We want you to think creatively and come up with your own unique plan. 
So, whether in school or at home, join the DreamSpace team in Episode Five of DreamSpace TV. 

Download the planning document here...

The maker challenges will require a variety of recyclable arts and crafts materials with preferably a scissors and an adhesive material for students to use also.
The materials are not specific so as to offer flexibility with the challenges but also to encourage students to think creatively and produce a solution with the resources that they do have. 

Check out the curriculum links for the episodes below: 

Visual Arts 

Strand: Drawing. Strand Unit: Making drawings. 

Strand: Construction. Strand Units: Making constructions; looking and responding 

Mathematics

Strand: Shape and space. Strand Units: 3-D shapes, Lines and angles 

Geography

Strand: Natural environments. Strand Units: Rocks and soil; Weather, climate and atmosphere 

Strand: Human environments. Strand Units: People living and working in the local area and people living and working in a contrasting part of Ireland; County regional and national centres 

Strand: Environmental awareness and care. Strand Unit: Caring for the environment 

Science

Strand: Materials. Strand Unit: Properties and characteristics of materials 

Strand: Energy and Forces. Strand Unit: Forces 

Strand: Environmental awareness and care. Strand Units: Environmental awareness; caring for the environment 

Primary Language

Strand: Oral Language, Reading and Writing. Strand Unit: Exploring and using. Genre: Information report