We’re responding to climate change by using 21st century education practices to link youth directly with local governments, coordinated at a regional scale, at the precise time that long-term planning is taking place.  During the 2015 – 2016 school year, we are piloting the project in select schools in the SF Bay Area counties of Marin and San Mateo.

The program consists of three primary components:

  1. Classroom learning.  First, students work through an NGSS and Common Core aligned curriculum to understand the causes and potential impacts of sea level rise.  The curriculum is flexible, and includes several options for hands-on experiments, games, and interactive activities.
  2. Field investigations.  Next, students collect real-world data about flood risk and potential impacts in their communities. This data is is checked, synthesized, and to city governments, climate researchers, and other organizations working on sea level rise and flood resiliency.
  3. Public presentations.  Finally, students explore the data that they and their peers have collected, reflect on what they’ve learned and what sea level rise will mean to them; and construct final communications products based on their own interests.  Some final projects that students are working on include:  a Spanish-language video about sea level rise vulnerabilities in San Rafael; a briefing on the environmental justice aspects of sea level rise planning for the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors, and posters about sea level rise science for community events in East Palo Alto.

The video below documents our first round playing the Game of Floods in May 2015.  We had a great time working with Tamalpais High students in Marin, and are looking forward to more games and explorations this year!