Search for Science Fair Projects

1000 Science Fair Projects with Complete Instructions

Geology Science Fair Project

Build a Model Earthquake

Build a Model Earthquake | Science Fair Projects | STEM Projects
Have you ever wondered what causes earthquakes? With this project, you can build a model to demonstrate how earthquakes are caused. You'll use a heavy object, an elastic cord, and a vibration sensor to create a mini-earthquake.


The hypothesis is that earthquakes are caused by intermittent fault slippage.

Method & Materials

You will build a rock-slide, winch, and seismic display. You will then attach the rock-slide to a table and the winch to another table. You will attach the elastic shock cord to the winch and the rock or brick. Finally, you will adjust the speed and friction of the rock-slide to create the mini-earthquake.
You will need a heavy object, an elastic cord, a vibration sensor, a base for the rock-slide, sides for the rock-slide, a stop for the rock-slide, a non-elastic cord, three C-clamps, screws, PVC pipe, PVC junctions, PVC cement, a 2"x4" wood, two pieces of 1"x6" wood, and four 2 1/2" long wood screws.


After completing the project, you will be able to observe the intermittent sliding motion of the rock or brick, which mimics the intermittent fault slippage that characterizes the earthquake fault zones. You will also be able to see the seismic data in real time on the computer display.

Why do this project?

This science project is unique because it allows you to create a mini-earthquake and observe the seismic data in real time.

Also Consider

Experiment variations to consider include using different weights for the rock or brick, different lengths of elastic cord, and different types of friction.

Full project details

You can find additional information and details for this science fair project here. Have fun exploring!

Related video

Hey there! Here are some awesome videos about this science project that we think you'll really like. They're not only super fun, but they'll also help you learn more about the science behind the project. So sit back, relax, and get ready to have some fun!!
Share this Science Project:

Related Science Fair Project Ideas

Soil Quality and Management
How does soil management affect soil quality? Let's find out by comparing soil from a forest, a field with conventional farming, and a field with compost added.
Exploding Volcano Model
Make a volcano erupt with air pressure! See how tephra (sand) is dispersed downwind to form a cinder cone.
Causes of Landslides
Landslides can cause serious damage to aquatic ecosystems. Learn how to identify and measure landslides in the Walla Walla River Watershed and the effects on salmonid health and habitat.
Share this Science Project: