The Tsunami Model Eliciting Activity (MEA)

Ken Reid, Director of Freshman Engineering, Ohio Northern University, Ada, OH

Chris Floyd, Science Department Chair, Eastwood Middle School, Indianapolis, IN

The Tsunami MEA was awarded 1st place in curriculum for middle schools in the Engineering Education Service Center (EESC) Curriculum Contest, 2009

This activity is designed for middle school or high school teachers who are interested in introducing a real world, open ended problem that introduces engineering concepts. The curriculum presented here has been implemented quite successfully in a middle school in 6th and 8th grades. Each link below will open a .pdf document.

Teachers are welcome to use this curriculum as is or modify it to fit their needs. We ask that, if you are using - or considering using - the Tsunami MEA, please contact the developers and let us know.

This material is provided for use in educational applications and may not be used (other than in the classroom), transfered under any other name or sold without permission of the developers. Use in an educational setting is encouraged.

(Note: you must have Acrobat Reader installed to view these files. This program is already on most computers; however, if the documents don't open, click here to download Acrobat Reader).

General Introduction:

  1. Main Page
  2. MEA in UBD (Understanding by Design); Tied to Standards
  3. General Introduction: Main Page
  4. General Introduction: Natural Disaster Housing Assignment
  5. General Introduction: Collaborative Work Skills Rubric
  6. Time Management Guidelines

Natural Disaster Exploration

  1. Natural Disaster Exploration Main Page
  2. Research Information Sheet
  3. Natural Disaster Tsunami Site Sheet

Tsunami Video and Processing Activity

  1. Tsunami Video and Processing Activity Main Page

Tsunami Webquest (optional)

  1. Tsunami Webquest Main Page
  2. Tsunami Webquest Handout
  3. Tsunami Webquest Scoring Rubric
  4. Tsunami Webquest Article Rubric

Geography and Culture

  1. Geography and Culture: Main Page
  2. Culture Reading Document
  3. Culture Reading Document Assessment
  4. Culture Reading Document Assessment: Key
  5. Culture Reading: In-Class Questions

How Do You Stop a Tsunami? (optional)

  1. How Do You Stop a Tsunami?

The Problem and the 'Model'

  1. Problem and the Model: Main Page
  2. The Problem
  3. The Model
  4. Data Information: for the Teacher

Solution and Presentation

  1. Solution and Presentation: Main Page
  2. Data Information: for the Students
  3. Houses
  4. The Solution
  5. The Presentation


  1. The Survey
  2. One Step Beyond

Additional material: