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The South Louisiana Wetlands Discovery Center is proud to announce the implementation of Project Resilience: Empowering Gulf Coast Youth to Thrive in Transformative Communities. This project aims to provide information and tools for high school students and teachers in coastal Louisiana that will enable these students to develop short- and long-term resilience plans for their communities in response to environmental impacts this region is experiencing, including flooding and coastal erosion. This project was implemented by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) Center for Science education and the South Louisiana Wetlands Discovery Center, with support from the Gulf Research Program of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine under Grant Agreement number 2000009811. Curriculum developed by the Wetlands Discovery Center and UCAR is being implemented in the Environmental Science classes at four high schools in Terrebonne Parish during the 2019-2020 school year.
Trees that have been killed due to saltwater intrusion in the Pointe-Aux-Chene wildlife refuge in Montegut, LA
“There has been a high level of expertise that has gone into developing this curriculum. Our project partners are some of the best in the country,” Jonathan Foret, Executive Director of the Wetlands Discovery Center.
Project Resilience advisors include experts from the Center for Planning Excellence (CPEX), South Central Planning and Development Commission, T. Baker Smith, Terrebonne Parish School District (TPSD), and Terrebonne Parish Consolidated Government.
“I am so thankful for South Louisiana Wetlands Discovery Center’s efforts to support our schools! Science teachers are challenged daily to identify meaningful, authentic activities that engage students that also align with the Louisiana Student Standards for Science. Project Resilience checks all of these needs while offering our environmental science students a unique opportunity to not only learn essential concepts that impact their lives, but apply that learning to better their community,” Nathan Cotten, STEM Curriculum Specialist for TPSD.
Students in participating Environmental Science classes will embark on a 20-day curriculum this fall that will culminate with student-developed plans for resilience projects that can be implemented at their schools. These project plans will be scored, and the project with the highest score from each school will be awarded $10,000 for implementation during the spring semester.
High School Environmental Science students participating in the Project Resilience curriculum are seen here observing how Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries has managed trees and other plant species in the Pointe-Aux-Chene wildlife refuge in Montegut, LA.
“South Louisiana Wetlands Discovery Center and its project partners have put together something remarkable. Students will have the opportunity to learn about the many facets of the coastal challenge in Louisiana and then design a project to address some of the challenges in their community. The best part: Several of the projects the students develop will actually be implemented. It is truly hands-on learning on subject matter of critical importance to our region,” Justin Kozak, Researcher + Policy Analyst for the Center for Planning Excellence.
After Project Resilience is implemented in Terrebonne Parish, the curriculum will be revised and distributed to other environmental science classes across coastal United States.
“What makes Project Resilience unique is the strength of the relationships the local partners have in their community, and these relationships will make this complex project doable for students at each of the four high schools. After implementing the selected projects, the students will be able to share what they have learned with peers at each school and with leaders in their community,” Becca Hatheway, Manager of Teaching and Learning at the UCAR Center for Science Education.
For more information about this program, please contact Jonathan Foret at firstname.lastname@example.org or 985-232-2800.