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JiJi has arrived in the Philippines and is spending some time enjoying its beautiful coastal waters! Through creative problem solving, the people of the Philippines have found a way to build houses that keep them safe during the floods and typhoons that are frequent in their country. Building houses on stilts is one way to prevent homes from being damaged during floods. Another feature of many houses is storm shutters that can be closed to prevent windows from breaking during storms. Because they sit about 4 meters above the water, the homes are also protected from animals getting into the home. Remember the sloped roof that JiJi found in Canada? In the Philippines, some buildings have a 4-sided sloped roof that looks like a pyramid with a square base. Why do you think this design might be important in the climate of the Philippines?
It's because that design lessens wind pressure - especially during storms - and holds up better over time. The posts used as stilts are often arranged in an array. Some houses have 4 rows of 5 poles. How many poles would be needed to support those homes? What other ways might the poles be arranged? How might this affect the shape of the home?
Teacher Note: Homes on stilts can sit a few feet off the ground up to 20 feet off the ground. Students can compare these heights to objects on the playground and around the school. For example, measure a piece of playground equipment to see if that was the floor of the home, how far off the ground would it be? How tall is the school building?
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