Overbrook Elementary 5th graders immersed themselves in the Great Alaska Earthquake of 1964. After reading two articles, they gained insights from firsthand experiences and investigated how the event reshaped science forever. In science class, students learned about plate tectonics, map reading, and graph interpretation. They also engaged in hands-on engineering by constructing earthquake-resistant structures out of marshmallows and toothpicks, then tested their structures on a shake table.

In their reading class, students compared perspectives of the earthquake. Writing assignments prompted them to decide whether they would stay in Valdez, Alaska, post-earthquake, and to inform readers about the town's journey. At the end of the unit, students designed new welcome signs for the relocated Valdez, now situated 4 miles from the earthquake site.