Studying the Science of Natural Disasters

Studying the Science of Natural Disasters photo
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Towering waves, structure-shaking winds and ground-crumbling earthquakes were all topics of discussions in Caitlin Thompson’s Natural Disasters class at Sachem High School East, a science elective for students in 10th, 11th, and 12th grades. 

As part of the course, students learned about natural disasters that occur around the world, such as earthquakes, volcanos, wild fires, tornados, blizzards, floods and plagues. Students examined numerous causes of these disasters using knowledge from several specific areas of science, including meteorology, geology and Earth science. 

During a recent activity examining the power of hurricane-force winds, students were tasked to construct a miniature hurricane-proof building with the ability to withstand extreme winds. Using tape, pipe cleaners, string and tongue depressors, students assembled buildings capable of holding the load of a tennis ball while also withstanding high winds simulated by a fan.