Aftershock! Earthquake Lab
Age range 8 years thru 12 years
Toy Type AE -- Active BO -- Book CO -- Construction ES -- Educational Skills GG -- Geography SC -- Science Aftershock! Earthquake Lab is the ultimate STEM toy for both boys and girls. Your young scientist can design a building to withstand the most destructive force on Earth. With Aftershock! Earthquake Lab, young engineers construct and test structures on a shake table that simulates the movements of real earthquakes. This 53-piece kit includes everything your child needs to create hundreds of building configurations, from a Himalayan hut to a towering skyscraper. The star of the show is a motorized shake table modeled after the large-scale versions that engineers use to test the seismic integrity of real buildings. But Aftershock's shake table does something others do not: it simulates the rolling surface waves that also move forward and backward or side to side. Surface waves are what cause the most damage to buildings in an earthquake. Six different wave types can be fed through the shake table in various combinations. Speed is controlled by the turn of a knob, so the duration and intensity of different waves can also be observed and tested. Building components include 32 plastic girders that can be locked together (or not) for flexibility and support, a building base to anchor a structure (or not), floor and roof panels to resist side-to-side forces, and wall panels for strength. Trial-and-error construction using these components in different configurations gives young engineers hands-on experience with real-world concepts like building resonance and S-waves. Each SmartLab Toy product includes a kid-friendly science and activity book. It shakes! It quakes! It rocks and rolls! It teaches! With its innovative toy component, hands-on investigations into Earth Science and Engineering, and aspirational educational content, the illustrated 24-page book portrays seismic events as evidence of a continually changing planet. Earthquakes build mountains, create islands, separate land forms, submerge coastlines, and spawn volcanic eruptions. Concepts like fault lines, plate tectonics, seismic waves, the Richter scale, and subduction zones are defined and illustrated with colorful, easy-to-understand graphics. "Test It!" sections throughout challenge the reader to try different building principles and quake properties. The story follows a young geophysicist who visits locations where earthquakes have occurred and explains what happened. The narrator is aspirational--an African-American female scientist who pilots an ultralight plane over the San Andreas Fault, digs for fossils in Antarctica, scuba dives to the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, flies over the Himalayas in a hot air balloon, and rappels down the side of a skyscraper in Japan. Designed with consultation from the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network, this fun-filled science toy is sure to become a classic.