National Engineers' Week Student Competitions

UAA Campus, Anchorage, AK

Saturday February 18, 2012; 10:00 am - 2:30 pm
Awards Ceremony at 3:00 PM

Click here to get a PDF version of the 2012 Rules.  This prints much better than the web page. 
The FREE Acobat Reader is required to view this file.

Shake & Break Competition

Last edited 1/26/2012

Location:  UAA Drive Overpass

In earthquake prone regions, buildings are designed to withstand ground shaking produced by tremors. The building codes usually include a significant number of redundant measures that are employed to protect the integrity of the structures. One way of demonstrating the damaging force generated by an earthquake is the “Shake Table” test.

Objective:  Your task is to build a structure with Jenga Blocks which will withstand the earthquake generated by the Shake Table.  The winning structure will be the one with the highest point total.


  1. You may use as many as sixty (60) blocks.

  2.   The structure must be at least ten (10) stories high. (The image shows a building of 7 stories high)

  3. The building may take any shape that can be built with the blocks.

  4. No glue or other adhesive is allowed.

  5. Only materials provided at the competition may be used.

  6. The building must be contained by the (20cmx20cm) plate and transported on the plate to the base.

  7. The base is predetermined as shown in the photo; it contains the metal cylinders, and energy absorbing padding.

Testing & Scoring:

  1. The shake test will terminate when two or more blocks fall off.

  2. One (1) point will be added for every second up to and including ten (10) seconds.

  3. Two (2) points will be added for every second past ten (10) seconds.

  4. Two (2) points will be added for each complete story above ten (10) levels that remains after the simulation is complete, if the simulation lasts at least five (5) seconds.

Highest total points wins!!!

Time permitting, you may repeat the competition, however, only your best score will be eligible for a medal.