Design for future-proofing

Especially taking climate change into account--redesign communities to be resilient and infrastructures to adapt.

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Photo of Scott Lewis
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Maggie, I've taken your ideas and put them in a table to reflect a kind of curriculum order for what you are doing. I think this may be helpful for identifying areas that may need further clarification (where I have questions) and I've also created a column where someone who lives in a coastal area outside NYC might consider adapting what you have done and substituting their own resources so that it is applicable to their area. I'll put a link here to the document that is housed on google drive so that you and others might access and edit - see what you think for moving this conversation forward:  https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4PxLa62ldUaVml5ZXFCcE1oNnc/view?usp=sharing

Photo of Scott Lewis
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Margaret - very nice video! This presents some great ideas about organizing a design project for students on the SLR topic - for example, a driving question might be " what kind of structures can we create  to help protect the beaches and land in our community from wave wave and flood damage related to sea level rise?" - (well, rather wordy at this point but could be refined :)... activities related to this question might include learning about the geology and geography of the area, doing some research on different natural structures and designs that might help (both natural such as dunes, coral, and human built), initial 3 d computer design of such structures, creating models of structures to test in a lab, and making presentations of results to community members. We've already identified groups of community members who are already experiencing flooding during high tides here and the recent brush with Hurricane Matthew has alarmed others; we also have a very proactive County government with respect to preparing for Climate Change so I'm sure some of the officials there would like to take part!

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Hi, Scott,
Where do you live?  What I do in my public policy class is to make sure we all have the same science background on climate change, and then we learn about crisis management agencies.  We role play a Category 3 hurricane in New York Bight, with Coast Guard and OEM officials calling the situations and assessing the situation reports.  After the After Action reports are done, we ask the students to pursue an infrastructure change to future-proof some aspect of NYC.  Students are on teams that end up matched with real communities undergoing change, with NGOS, with government groups (like the City Parks Foundation, or the Mayor's Office of Resilience), or with future-city design groups like ARUP, Arcadis, etc.  Here is an overly dramatic but still compelling video to grab kids: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/can-new-york-be-saved-in-the-era-of-global-warming-20160705
Our authentic partners end up being our audience for the exhibit at the end.

Photo of Scott Lewis
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Hi, Maggie, very nice ideas here, thanks! I'm located down in Broward County, Florida, southwest of Ft. Lauderdale. I'm curious about a number of your lessons here and of course what the students are bringing to the table (when you say public policy class - is this high school and what kinds of students would take such a class? i.e. interests in government?) I wonder how you start the project - i.e. asking them to watch the video and read the Rolling Stone piece? Having a discussion about the possible flooding of NYC in the future or during Sandy?  How do you insure they all have the same background in climate change science? Like the idea very much of being engaged with emergency management folks - this may be a common denominator for a lot of communities. Emergency groups may be thinking in terms of preparing for scenarios that may not happen for awhile. Working with students to develop very long term thinking may be critical for such work and another common denominator.  Maybe outlining some of what you are doing as a series of major points and thinking in terms of the ways other communities who are facing Sea Level Rise might connect to these same critical points could provide a general format that might be useful for a number of teachers in such communities. 

Photo of Grace
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I love this idea...I even wonder how you might think of it as being an example of the content one could build into an interdisciplinary project that teachers in other settings could use? In other words, might you design the skeleton for a climate-focused, student-driven project, where others could implement a similar design but include the content specific to their area?

Photo of Maggie Favretti
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Hi, Grace,
There are SO many ways to cross disciplines with this kind of work.  Indeed, we use the design process to structure an entire class in public policy.  Others use it to teach history, English, world language, math...or, you could incorporate all these disciplines in the same "communities facing climate change" design challenge. Community-based design is completely multi-disciplinary because it is "real life."

Photo of Margaret Powers
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Cool Maggie Favretti ! It would be wonderful to have our students start thinking about this now since it could be a problem they are solving throughout our futures! You & Scott Lewis might want to check out this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ApNZNU7fmLI by David Lee. Do you imagine using PBL and design thinking to empower students to tackle this future-proofing challenge? What would the project look like? How would you connect students to an authentic audience? 

Photo of Scott Lewis
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Maggie - this is also an area I'm interested in and would like to elaborate on - focusing on one aspect of Climate Change - i.e. Sea Level Rise. This is a critical issue in many coastal communities, especially South Florida where I am. Could we have a charrette or contest where students design coastal structures that would help protect the coasts from wave damage in storms? This might be judged by engineers or architects and might even lead to designs that actually could be used or tested.