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Plate Tectonics and Earthquakes Demonstration Kit for Earth science dramatically demonstrates the forces involved with subducting plates. Shake… rattle… and roll.

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Product Details

Shake… rattle… and roll. Many of the world’s most powerful earthquakes are generated at subduction zones where tectonic plates converge. Visually introduce the theory behind these “megaquakes” by simulating the forces involved with subducting plates. Dramatically demonstrate the principles of faulting, static versus dynamic friction and elastic energy. Students are actively involved as they observe and record the movement of the simulated plate and rocks along the fault. Tension builds as the plate moves slowly and steadily along with little or no rock movement—when will the next big quake occur? Includes complete instructions with sample data, extensive background information and reproducible student worksheet.

Concepts: Convergent plate boundary, subduction zone, elastic rebound, static vs. dynamic friction.
Time Required: 25 minutes
Materials Provided: Rubber bands, sandpaper, wood blocks with screw eyes.
Note: Requires two meter sticks.

Correlation to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

Science & Engineering Practices

Developing and using models
Asking questions and defining problems
Analyzing and interpreting data
Using mathematics and computational thinking
Engaging in argument from evidence

Disciplinary Core Ideas

MS-ESS2.B: Plate Tectonics and Large-Scale System Interactions
HS-ESS1.C: The History of Planet Earth
HS-ESS2.B: Plate Tectonics and Large-Scale System Interactions

Crosscutting Concepts

Cause and effect
Scale, proportion, and quantity
Systems and system models
Stability and change

Performance Expectations

HS-PS3-1: Create a computational model to calculate the change in the energy of one component in a system when the change in energy of the other component(s) and energy flows in and out of the system are known.
HS-PS3-2: Develop and use models to illustrate that energy at the macroscopic scale can be accounted for as a combination of energy associated with the motion of particles (objects) and energy associated with the relative position of particles (objects).
MS-PS3-2: Develop a model to describe that when the arrangement of objects interacting at a distance changes, different amounts of potential energy are stored in the system.