Victorian Curriculum: Years 5 and 6

Maximum Students: 54 (2 groups of 27)

Program Times: Weekdays 10am – 2pm (or as negotiated)


Earthquake Explorers investigates the causes of geological based natural disasters in the global community, as well as how current scientific processes can monitor and predict such occurrences. Students are provided with a Science-based scenario that requires them to assess the risks inherent in natural disasters, to consider steps that can be taken in order to prepare for such events and to present information from a real event.

Students are introduced to the geological landscape of an island that is frequently impacted by earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic activity. They are then required to assess the dangers associated with these disasters, modelling the events using Earth Ed’s Volcano, Tsunami Wave Tank and Liquefaction equipment and using current scientific processes in order to respond to any dangers that could potentially occur.

Students discover what causes major geological events, how this is monitored through modern scientific means, and the subsequent effect on humanity and the planet’s surface. The participants model seismic waves and seismogram readings, and then build and retrofit a wall that is able to withstand the shearing effect of an earthquake.

Key Learning Outcomes:


  • Identify and model the types of seismic waves generated by an earthquake.
  • Learn what a seismologist does.
  • Learn to read and model seismograph readings.
  • Investigate and describe the causes and effects of modern earthquake examples.
  • Predict the amount of damage caused by differing magnitudes of earthquakes.
  • Understand how earthquakes contribute to the phenomena of Volcanoes, Tsunamis and Liquefaction throughout the world.
  • Predict the amount of damage caused by differing magnitudes of earthquakes.
  • Enjoy hands-on, shared experiences of modelling the changes to the Earth’s surface caused by plate tectonics.

Learning Standards (Australian Curriculum):

Earthquake Explorers focuses on many of the expectations contained within the Year 5 and 6 achievement standards. In particular, it addresses:

Science Understanding

  • Sudden geological changes or extreme weather conditions can affect Earth’s surface.

Science as a human endeavour

  • Science involves testing predictions by gathering data and using evidence to develop explanations of events and phenomena.
  • Scientific understandings, discoveries and inventions are used to solve problems that directly affect peoples’ lives.
  • Scientific knowledge is used to inform personal and community decisions.

Science inquiry skills

  • With guidance, pose questions to clarify practical problems or inform a scientific investigation, and predict what the findings of an investigation might be.
  • With guidance, plan appropriate investigation methods to answer questions or solve problems.
  • Decide which variable should be changed and measured in fair tests and accurately observe, measure and record data.
  • Construct and use a range of representations, including tables and graphs, to represent and describe observations, patterns or relationships in data using digital technologies as appropriate.
  • Compare data with predictions and use as evidence in developing explanations.
  • Communicate ideas, explanations and processes in a variety of ways, including multi-modal texts.