Monday, 12 January 2009
Flood risk factors taught using "hands-on" table top watershed/floodplain model
Hall 5 (Phoenix Convention Center)
The impacts of flooding are increasing nation-wide and education is an important tool in flood mitigation strategies. Collaboration between a teacher, a National Weather Service hydrologist, and a state stormwater floodplain association created an innovative "hands-on" watershed/floodplain model and curriculum to help students understand many of the factors that affect the risk of flooding. A sequence of lessons focuses on hydro-meteorological connections, flood dynamics, and relevant human actions(such as levees, land use,and stormwater detention ponds). The watershed model allows students to test the impact many variables have on the hydrologic response of river systems and flood frequency. This presentation will show how the model and lessons have been used effectively in both formal classroom instruction and informal public presentations. "Students" working with these materials have ranged from late elementary students to college students, families at public science fairs, and even local government groups dealing with land use issues.