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Middle School Students Imagine Houston in the Next 100 Years

By October 29, 2020December 2nd, 2020Grace News
Middle School - Houston 2120

Young people play a critical role in protecting the climate. According to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Secretary General Patricia Espinosa, “Young people want to be involved in the process, and we value that interest.”

In Earth Science, our sixth grade students are taking on climate change as part of their Houston 2120 project.

The Houston 2120 project is driven by one question – how can we impact Houstonians to curve climate change?

During this project, students are researching what Houston looked like during the late 1800s compared to now. They will also predict what Houston will be like in 100 years.

Divided into groups, the students will each have a different focus. They can choose wildlife, vegetation, transportation, agriculture, outdoor spaces (parks), healthcare and housing. Within these categories, the students can choose a more specific focus.

“I am really excited about this project because the students of today will be the stewards of our Earth tomorrow,” said Lorien Foux, Science Teacher. “I am hopeful that this project will be highly relevant to the students as this Earth they are inheriting is the only one they have.”

Making the Real-Life Connection

To add an element of real-life connection, the students had the opportunity to meet and interview two professionals via ZOOM: Meteorologist Justin Stapleton from KPRC Channel 2 and Business Development Manager, Erin Williford, PE of Jones | Carter.

During their time with Mr. Stapleton, they discussed how our climate in Houston has changed in the last ten years. They discussed how the influx of people coming to Houston has changed the weather. Mr. Stapleton also provided an understanding on how predictions are made using weather models with real-time weather data.

Mrs. Williford shared her team’s civil engineering improvement project on Buffalo Bayou Park, which began in 2012 and was especially impactful after Hurricane Harvey. Students were able to see real-life work done to preserve green spaces in Houston and prevent future erosion by stabilizing slope failures. Mrs. Williford connected the water cycle, which the students had learned in class, to her work on a day to day basis.

“We are so incredibly grateful that Mr. Stapleton and Mrs. Williford were able to join us,” said Amy McAfee, Science Teacher. “The students were able to ask some great questions and gain some much-needed insight.”

As a culminating project; each group of students produced a comic book for Grace School’s second graders, this opinion article, abstract films, and an interactive AR/VR experience for Grace School students using CoSpaces.

 

About Grace School

Grace School is a private school in Houston, Texas serving students from ages 20 months through Grade 8. Uniquely combining a faith-based, STEM curriculum, Grace School fosters an environment where children develop the skills and mindsets to become compassionate innovators, problem solvers, creators, and changemakers.