Sun, Sep 16, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Extreme building skills tested with earthquake contest

SHAKY GROUND:Groups from nine countries have joined the Taipei-based competition to design structures that can sustain major seismic activity

Staff writer, with CNA

An annual scientific program featuring an earthquake engineering competition and seismic protection education started yesterday in Taipei, with nearly 500 students from around the world preparing to showcase their creativity, the organizer said.

The Introducing and Demonstrating Earthquake Engineering Research in Schools (IDEERS) program, now in its 12th year, has attracted 172 foreign participants from nine countries — a record-high number since the program was first launched — said the Taiwan National Center for Research on Earthquake Engineering, the program’s organizer.

Participating teams at the two-day event include those from Japan, South Korea, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, India and the Philippines, the center said.

A total of 480 foreign and local students are to compete in teams to win the grand prize in either the high school, college or post-graduate categories, the center said.

On the opening day of the event, participants were asked to make their own innovative models within 6.5 hours, using wooden sticks, cotton string, glue and rubber bands.

Using the concepts of energy dissipation and/or seismic isolation, the models must satisfy a series of criteria, including space, usability and economic requirements, the center said.

All models are to be tested and judged the next day and the one showing the highest efficiency ratio is to win the prize, the center said.

Last year, Taiwan’s National Hsinchu Senior Industrial Vocational School won the grand prize in the high school category, while National University of Singapore and University of the Philippines Diliman were the winners of the college and post-graduate school categories, respectively.

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