Name Period “Submerged”

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Building a Hurricane-proof house

Question: Does a building’s design affect how well it withstands a hurricane?

  • Pencil

  • Glue stick

  • Ruler

  • 2 straws

  • Scissors

  • Tape

  • Paper plate

  • Goggles

  • Hair dryer

  • Stopwatch

  • Leaf blower

Your job is to build a model house using the materials supplied to you. Your house must have 4 walls, a roof, a door, 2 windows, and a base no smaller than 10 x 13 cm. You will be required to use all of the paper given to you.
Prior to starting, you must draw a diagram of the house. Once this drawing has been approved, your building supplies will be given to you.
SAVE THE TAPE – this will be what holds your house to the plate (your foundation).
Conclusion Questions:

  1. What hurricane damage did your house suffer with the use of the hair dryer?

  1. What hurricane damage did your house suffer with the use of the leaf blower?

  1. What were the weaknesses in your house?

  1. What were the strengths in your house?

  1. Compare your house with another house from our class (how were they alike/different). How might you combine the features of these two houses to create one that is better at withstanding hurricanes? You may use the back to answer this question.


There was a tropical disturbance that formed over the Atlantic with air pressure readings of 940 millibars and dropping. The disturbance grows to a tropical depression, then a tropical storm (Tropical Storm Katrina), then a full blown hurricane (Hurricane Katrina). Hurricane Katrina was a category 3 hurricane as of August 27 and within nine hours it was upgraded to a category 5 because of the severe drop in air pressure over the warm waters of the Atlantic. The wind speeds have reached 125 mph. It is August 29, 2005 in New Orleans, Louisiana and the raging category 5 hurricane is headed right for the metropolitan area. Air pressure has reached a low of 902 millibars and the wind has now reached 175 mph. A mandatory evacuation was issued for the area, but you are part of the population that did not evacuate either by choice or because you have no transportation to get out of the city. The raging winds have begun and have reached your area. Can your house withstand the damaging affects of Hurricane Katrina? Let’s find out!

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