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IDEERS competition

Press release issued: 15 June 2001

Shaken to the ground

University of Bristol 'Introducing and Demonstrating Earthquake Engineering Research in Schools' (IDEERS) Pilot Competition Final Wednesday 4 April 2001, 10 am-2.45 pm Earthquake Engineering Research Centre (EERC), Faculty of Engineering, Bristol

Scale models of buildings constructed by local secondary schools will be shaken to destruction by Bristol University on Wednesday [April 4]. It's all part of a competition run by the University to help young people learn about earthquake engineering and have some fun into the bargain.

One hundred and twenty 11- to 16-year-olds will visit the University's Earthquake Engineering Research Centre to find out which of their models stands up best on an earthquake simulator - a specially constructed 'shaking table'.

The winners of the competition will be presented with a book token by Sir John Kingman, Vice-Chancellor of the University.

The competition, called IDEERS, is the pilot for a national web-based competition that will run annually for the next three years. Students will design and construct models of earthquake-resistant buildings from cheap materials including paper, MDF (medium density fibre) board, string and glue.

The national competition also requires presentations from the students on the impact of earthquakes on communities, the need for earthquake-resistant structures and the details of their design.

Prizes, sponsored by the engineering consultants EQE International, Ove Arup and W S Atkins, and by Texas Instruments, will be awarded for the strongest models and the best presentations. A website has been developed to provide competition details and a learning resource for the students on earthquakes and their effects and simple rules for designing earthquake resistant structures.

The project has been developed by Dr Wendy Daniell and Dr Adam Crewe, both researchers in the University's Department of Civil Engineering.

Dr Daniell, said: 'The competition is a great way of learning about how structures behave in earthquakes. It's also good fun and a way of helping to open up the University to local kids. We're very much looking forward to having them here.'

For further details on the IDEERS project, go to

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Copyright: 2001 The University of Bristol, UK
Updated: Friday, 15-Jun-2001 10:49:23 BST

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