Activity SectionsOverviewIntroductionStudents research a topic pertaining to the 2013 Colorado floods online, present the information they find, and summarize all information presented.CreditsActivity developed by Hilary Peddicord, NOAA Education SpecialistGrade LevelMiddle and high school, depending on reading levelTime Required1-3 class periods depending on depth of research and length of presentations Student Learning ObjectivesThe objective of the activity is to familiarize students with climate and weather vocabulary while asking them to practice summarizing scientific information and presenting it, in their own words, to their peers. Lesson FormatJigsaw class project combining online research, reading, presentations, and writing Standards AddressedColorado StandardsCDE HS Science Standard 3.7 NOS - Collaborate with local, national, and global organizations to report and review natural disaster data and compare their conclusions.Next Generation Science StandardsMS-ESS2.C: The Roles of Water in Earth's Surface ProcessesMS-ESS3.B: Natural HazardsPE: MS-ESS3-2 Analyze and interpret data on natural hazards to forecast future catastrophic events and inform decision making that will mitigate their effects.Science and Engineering Practices: Analyzing and Interpreting DataScience and Engineering Practices: Constructing Explanations and Designing SolutionsCrosscutting Concepts: Cause and EffectCommon Core StandardsCCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.2 Write informative/explanatory text (for grades 7-12)CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.2 Determine a central idea of a text (for grades 7-12)CCSS.Math.Content.7.SP.C.5 Understand the probability of a chance eventCCSS.Math.Content.HSS-MD.B.6 Use probabilities to make fair decisionsCCSS.Math.Content.HSS-MD.B.7 Analyze decisions and strategies using probability conceptsCCSS.Math.Content.HSN-Q.A.1 Use units as a way to understand problemsCCSS.Math.Content.HSS-IC.B.6 Evaluate reports based on data.National Geography Standards15: How Physical Systems Affect Human Systems (3. People adapt to the conditions of the physical environment) InstructionsMaterialsAccess to the InternetPowerPoint or other presentation software and a projector DirectionsDirect students to the Student Page - the last tab on this activity.Divide the class into six groups. Assign each group a topic on the Student Page.Have students follow the directions on the Student page, reading the storm summary PDF and the links in their topic of the Student Page, doing additional research, and then meeting with the rest of their group to share what they learned.Have groups create presentation slides to describe their findings.Have student groups give a 3-5 minute presentation that answers their topic's questions.Instruct students to take notes during presentations and then write a page that summarizes all presentation topics. Background & ExtensionsBackground Those who live on the Front Range of Colorado know that flash floods can happen but what happened in September of 2013 was "unprecedented." More than 11,000 people had to be evacuated from small mountain towns after an extrordinary amount of rain fell in a week - approximately 18 inches, which is about what the region receives in an average year. The resulting floods washed out nearly every road leading to the foothills on the west side of Boulder County.Flash floods are short-term inundations of small areas such as a town or parts of a city, usually by tributaries and creeks. Heavy rain in a few hours can produce flash flooding even in places where little rain has fallen for weeks or months. If heavy rainfall occurs repeatedly over a wide area, then river flooding becomes more likely, in which the main rivers of a region swell and inundate large areas, sometimes well after rainfall has ended. The 1993 Midwest floods were caused by 77 events over several months where rainfall of greater than one inch occurred over areas 100 to 200 miles wide and 400 to 600 miles long. Both flash flooding and river flooding threaten life and property, although the former causes more deaths and the latter causes more property damage.This Jigsaw/Expert Group research activity designed for middle and high school students, encourages students to search for information online in local media and scientific reports in order to answer common flood-related questions that apply to the Colorado natural disaster. The objective of the activity is to familiarize students with climate and weather vocabulary while asking them to practice summarizing scientific information and presenting it, in their own words, to their peers. StudentDirections:Start by reading Severe Flooding on the Colorado Front Range to learn about the September 2013 event.Become an expert on your topic by researching online. Check out the questions and topics related to your topic below.Meet with your group and prepare to make a presentation about your topic and what you learned. Remember to include:What your topics isThe information you foundYour interpretation of the information you foundWhere you found informationWhy it’s importantYou will be responsible for presenting your findings to the rest of the class. Your presentation should be 3-5 minutes long. Topic 1: Tell us the numbers.Numbers can be compelling. So what were the storm totals and how can you compare that to something that your audience can understand? What are the normal rainfall and stream flow amounts for September in Colorado? What do the numbers mean (i.e. what’s an inch, a foot, an acre-foot, how much does a gallon weigh)? To get started, take a look at Record Rainfall. To get a sense of whether the rainfall was unusual, check out the rainfall totals listed at Heavy Precipitation: Extreme Events (NOAA National Climatic Data Center). Topic 2: Tell us their stories.There were many stories about people and community impacts during the floods. What were some of the local, state and federal impacts? Give examples of different impacts and at least one case story of a person or family’s experience. Use Google to research local reporting on the floods. Compare the sources and their points of view. Topic 3: Tell us how it compares.We know whether something is normal or not by comparing an event to past events. We know that much of the Front Range of Colorado lies in a floodplain, but how do the floods of 2013 compare to floods of the past? Choose at least two other floods to compare. The Colorado Historic Floods webpage is a good place to start your research. Topic 4: Tell us the sequence of events.The floods did not happen all in one day, there were many events that happened over the course of about a week. Make a timeline of events and give explanations for those events. The Flood Timeline webpage is a good place to start your research. Topic 5: Tell us about the weather. Was the storm forecasted? What were the weather events that led to the flood? Report the meteorological events that led to the flood. Use visual aids or drawings when possible. Make sure to find definitions of weather terms to explain to your audience. The Storm Meteorology webpage is a good place to get started. Topic 6: Tell us about future concernsThere are people who say that climate change could have contributed to the rainfall event that led to these floods. What does this mean? How could changing the atmosphere change weather? Check out this NASA Earth Observatory climate change article to get started with your research and their article about the impact of climate change on natural disasters.