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Children from Rednock School in Gloucestershire had the chance to design and build earthquake resistant model buildings at Bristol University's Earthquake Engineering Research Centre on Tuesday. Twenty students brought model buildings made of strips of chip board, paper, string and glue, to be tested on the centre's shaking-table. The pupils cheered as fellow competitors' buildings fell when they were shaken by 'earthquakes' of increasing intensity.

The winning model was the one with the highest 'maximum earthquake resisted' to mass ratio - to demonstrate the importance of cost efficiency. The project is part of the university's wider initiative to improve public understanding of science and engineering research, through websites, workshops and public exhibitions.

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