Engineering for a Changing Climate

Phenomenon for this unit are (1) the King Tide and (2) the permafrost thaw and resulting coastal erosion at Shishmaref, AK. We then focus on our local community. Using maps, video, photographs and guest speakers, students explore coastal erosion. They will build models to test their designs for coastal erosion mitigation and conduct environmental sampling to determine the impacts of their solutions. Finally, students will work with visiting artists to share their knowledge with the community.

Standards Aligned

Next Generation Science Standards, Social Studies (C3), Common Core Math, Common Core ELA, Na Hapena A'o, International Society for Technology in Education, Other (see Unit)

Community Partner(s)

  • Community partners school (i.e, students at Shishmaref School, Grade 6)
  • Community partner (i.e., Scott Fisher, Hawaii Island Land Trust @ Waihe’e)

Essential Question

How do scientists and engineers understand, plan and design for the impacts of climate change in coastal areas?

Enduring Understanding

  • Human activities contribute to changes in earth systems.
  • Personal experience brings value, as well as meaning, to an object or a place.
  • The effects of global climate change are currently being felt in coastal areas and will continue to intensify.
  • Environmental engineers use data to measure and monitor changes in an ecosystem and need to consider whole ecosystems when planning and designing solutions.
  • Model building is an effective way to prototype and test a design solution

Learner Level Elementary

Primary Content English Language Arts, STEM, Math, Science, Social Studies