Project Resilience

Principal Investigator: Becca Hatheway 
Funder: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

Short Summary:

With the Project Resilience curriculum, high school students examine the environmental challenges facing communities along the Gulf of Mexico and learn about resilience planning using a resilience planning toolkit. The curriculum spans about 20 days of class time, divided into seven lessons, with an optional student project extension (Lesson 8). The first four lessons of the curriculum, focus on learning about the environmental challenges and scientific processes in the Mississippi River delta. Students gain an understanding of what the Mississippi River delta is and how it forms, why deltaic formation is important for coastal communities in the Gulf region (including the importance of wetlands and estuaries), and why the deltaic coast is vulnerable. Lessons 5-7 of the curriculum, focus on resilience planning and adaptation strategies using a resilience toolkit. As a case study, students explore current and future projects planned for Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana, including criteria for choosing and evaluating factors that put communities at risk, and the scope of different types of projects. Project Resilience then leads students through the development of a School Resilience Plan, which contains student-designed projects to address one or more environmental challenges affecting their school campus. An extension of the curriculum is to implement one of the student projects from the School Resilience Plan. Project Resilience was developed by UCAR Center for Science Education and the South Louisiana Wetlands Discovery Center (SLWDC), and was piloted and field-tested in the four Terrebonne Parish high schools. This project was supported by the Gulf Research Program of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine under Grant Agreement number 2000009811.