Document Type


Publication Date

June 2016

Publication Title

ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition




The earthquake engineering community has recognized that in seismically active regions throughout the United States, hundreds of thousands of students and staff unknowingly study and work in structurally vulnerable school and university buildings. The School Earthquake Safety Initiative (SESI), spearheaded by the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI), is a collaborative network of diverse, expert, and impassioned professionals who are committed to creating and sharing knowledge and tools that enable broadminded, informed decision making around school earthquake safety. The Classroom Education and Outreach Subcommittee of SESI is tackling the problem of school safety from a grassroots approach, with the goal of using education in the classroom to create on ongoing dialog with parents, teachers, and administrators thereby developing advocates for earthquake school safety. To do so, well-defined K-12 engineering curriculum aligned with standards that are well documented and can be easily taught to a range of teachers for broad dissemination have been developed for 4th grade and high school physics classes. The modules lead students through hands-on and research activities to learn basic earthquake engineering design principles and make use of an electronic instructional shaking table that allows students to test structures under representative earthquake loading. In an effort to reach a large number of schools across the country, the initiative is engaging regional professional and university student chapters to work closely with classroom teachers and collaborate on delivering the activities.


© 2016 American Society for Engineering Education. This article originally appeared in the proceedings of the 2016 ASEE Annual Conference, and can also be found online at this link.
Conference SessionK-12 & Pre-College Engineering Division: Fundemental and Evaluation: Embedded Programs in Engineering EducationPaper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana.