Project Resilience - a high school curriculum about the environmental challenges facing Gulf coastal communities

History of the Pilot Project

The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research’s Center for Science Education (UCAR SciEd) and the South Louisiana Wetlands Discovery Center (SLWDC) came together in early 2018 to develop Project Resilience. This program was inspired in large part by the LA SAFE (Louisiana’s Strategic Adaptations for Future Environments), a program developed by the State of Louisiana and the Foundation for Louisiana (FFL). This work was supported by the Gulf Research Program of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine under Grant Agreement number 2000009811.

A team of environmental science and resilience planning experts was assembled to assist in developing the curriculum and the resilience planning toolkit. Along with UCAR and SLWDC, other team members represented Terrebonne Parish Consolidated Government, South Central Planning and Development, Center for Planning Excellence, T. Baker Smith Engineering, and Terrebonne Parish School District.

Because Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana, is ground zero for coastal land loss and sea level rise, this population of students fit the target audience to pilot this program. We provided educational resources for environmental science teachers and students at four public high schools, enabling them to develop resilience plans for their school campuses in response to challenges related to environmental impacts.

By placing students at the center of the decision-making process concerning the selection and implementation of projects on their school campuses, these young people took ownership of the projects and volunteered their time to see them completed. They were empowered to make solution-oriented contributions to their school community, and the final results of their work were truly inspiring. We can easily envision future generations of Terrebonne Parish residents working together to solve large-scale problems using this same process. We plan to share this resource with teachers and students in other coastal communities throughout the Gulf Coast region where communities are experiencing similar challenges.

Watch a video about the Project Resilience Pilot and student projects during the 2019-2020 school year 

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