Coastal Resilience From a Child’s POV

 Coastal Resilience From a Child’s POV

by S. C. Samoy,

RISE Director of Operations & Communications

“We’re the Werewolf Boys!” exclaimed one boy. “I don’t like werewolves,” responded another. “I’m not even a boy!” said the lone girl.

The three were teammates on one of three squads: Werewolf Boys, Golden Touch, and Rainbow Squad. They were competing in whose engineering design to keep floods from overtaking dry land worked best.

This was part of a field trip on Thursday, November 9, to RISE (Rockaway Initiative for Sustainability and Equity) to learn about coastal resilience. Third graders from PS 183Q Dr. Richard R. Green School learned about rising seas and the challenges they present to coastal communities and about the problems caused by flooding. The students were given trays, cups, pebbles, tape, sponges, toothpicks, and sand, and they got to experiment with their own creations in a hands-on challenge where they built their own coastlines and tested their ability to withstand flooding.

When the three teams’ structures were built, Marvin Lopez Acevedo, RISE youth engagement coordinator, took Lisa Magee’s and Karen Jean Bart’s students outside to the picnic tables in Rockaway Hip-Hop Community Garden and poured cups of water, one at a time, to see how much each design could withstand. One, two, three . . .

Rainbow Squad withheld seventeen cups of water before bursting. Golden Touch managed twenty-three cups of water. And the winner, Werewolf Boys, kept forty cups of water from breaking through.

It was a fun-filled, creative time for all, and RISE invites all public schools in the Rockaways to join PS 183Q, PS 104Q The Bays Water School, PS 105Q The Bay School, PS 253Q Randolph Holder School for Justice, MS 262Q Channel View School for Research, and MS 282Q Knowledge and Power Preparatory Academy, which have participated in Living Classroom. We want to encourage wannabe Werewolf Boys (and Girls!) to find their inner engineers.

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