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How to Set Up the Earthquake Demonstration

This material is replicated on a number of sites as part of the SERC Pedagogic Service Project
diagram with specifications for building earthquake machine
Materials needed for the earthquake demonstration are as follows:
  • plywood (122 cm x 30 cm)
  • 2 bricks
  • ~30 cm of rubber surgical tubing (or bungee cord)
  • fine to medium grit sand paper, ~96 cm x 10 cm
  • ~80 cm of strong cord
  • sandpaper
  • clamps large enough to surround bricks
  • hooks to attach brick clamps to surgical tubing
  • winch with crank and handle (an old boat winch works well)
  • talcum powder

Set up time for the copper extraction demonstration is 2 to 5 hours, depending on availability of material and construction skills of builder. USGS Earthquake Model ( This site may be offline. ) provides a list of materials, diagrams, and detailed set-up procedures.

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