Teaching sequence

Lesson objective

In this lesson students examine ways in which scientists and engineers use warning systems and new building constructions to more effectively prepare for earthquakes.


Discuss with students what can be done to better prepare for earthquakes.

Define the occupations of geoscientists, geologists and engineers.


  1. Divide the class into groups and ask the groups to research information about the:
    • role geoscientists play in studying earthquakes
    • prediction and warning systems currently in use
    • engineering solutions used to design buildings that can withstand earthquakes.
  2. Hold a class discussion to share research findings.
  3. Consider how scientists and engineers work together to develop solutions so we can be better prepared for earthquakes.


Engage students in the disaster simulation game Stop disasters! to assess risk and limit damage due to a disaster.

Lesson Resources


Student activities

Digital resources

Stop disasters! ISDR 

Extension activities

Science communication (Word, 331 KB)

Useful links

Earthquake early warning system,
USGS. Information 

BBC Bitesize. Information and quiz 

Earthquakes: learn from the past, prepare for the future,
Discovery Education. Lesson 

Faultline: damage control,
Exploratorium. Information 

Understanding earthquakes in Australia,
Geoscience Australia. Information 

What can we do to prevent earthquake destruction? 
Discovery Education. Information