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Burke Students Study Hurricane Warning Complacency

Burke Students Study Hurricane Warning Complacency
Posted on 11/05/2018
Burke Students Study Hurricane Warnings

Students at Burke High School learned Friday how difficult and intense of a procedure it is to land a United States Coast Guard helicopter or perform a rescue. The demonstration was part of their project-based learning through New Tech Network, designed to increase student engagement and broaden future success.

A Coast Guard Crew landed on Harmon Field Friday to demonstrate a rescue at sea.

Peter Locher and Benjamin Plants co-teach what is labeled "Geoscience" at Burke High School. It is a combination of Earth Science (Locher) and World Geography (Plants).

Every 4-6 weeks, students at Burke over specific standards while addressing real-life problems through community projects. The most recent project focused on teaching hurricane resilience has been a study in hurricane warning complacency

“Students, with the help of Charleston's Chief Resiliency Officer, Commander Shannon Scaff, have realized that the local Charleston Community has built up a type of complacency when it comes to hurricanes and flooding,” said Plants. “Our students are fighting to bring awareness to the local community by studying the effects of hurricanes, how they form, tracking hurricanes, as well as, the impacts that can occur.”

Burke HelicopterAt the beginning of every project, the students have a "call to action" or "entry event" that allows the students to mentally prepare and buy into the project.

A "call to action" letter is given out to the students after their entry event. This gives them a structured look at what they will be accomplishing. It helps answer some questions, but at the same time, creates many more. It is a great tool for critical thinking.

Next steps include bringing Commander Scaff into the classroom for smaller, hands-on group learning and teaming up with the NOAA’s Chief Meteorologist of Charleston, Ron Morales. The students will also work with NOAA to receive their certificates of Weather Readiness Ambassadors, of which less than 50 schools have nationwide.

“It is a fun and exciting project,” said Plants. “It seems like every project we do gets bigger and bigger; and we just keep biting off more and more.”

For more information contact Benjamin Plants at

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