What a terrific experience for students! Educational, exciting and fun.
The Palm Beach County Office of Emergency Management conducted a special hurricane preparedness exercise called StormZone where they planned for and recovered from category 3 Hurricane Fred. Pine Jog Elementary students participated in the exercise along with County Chair Camila Goizueta and Emergency Manager Ranice Lincoln, managing the ESF students, student meteorologists under the supervision of Erik Salna, Associate Director at FIU’s International Hurricane Research Center, who reported on the hurricane’s direction and path prior to its arrival. Student reporters provided updates prior to Fred’s arrival and conducted a press conference concluding the exercise.
Susan Playe, 5th grade teacher at Pine Jog Elementary added that, “Our students were given a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience what county officials’ roles are before, during, and after an emergency. We truly enjoyed ourselves and it was an amazing learning experience merging real life experience and education into one.”
Laurie Mecca, another Pine Jog Elementary 5th grade teacher, expressed how this learning experience is a perfect match for the Common Core Standards. “We want our students to become effective collaborators and communicators. The experiences our students had today helped us reach that goal. They were able to summarize, make critical decisions, and speak publically using evidence from multimedia. What a great way to blend education goals with learning leadership and career opportunities for their future!”
StormZone is a free online hurricane science education and preparedness program offered to public and private schools. The program specifically helps students understand the importance of advance preparation when confronted with a natural disaster such as a hurricane. Since 2007, StormZone has been taught in Palm Beach, Miami-Dade and Broward schools throughout hurricane season which ends November 30th.
REF: SDPBC (Press Release) Public Affairs Office - Oct. 2013