Resilience. Innovation. Sustainability. Environment.

The RISE Challenge

The RISE Challenge creates a generation of citizens with the knowledge, skills, and motivation to improve community resilience to natural disasters.

“I don’t think we have solved wildfires, but a lot more people know what to do than they did before our project.”

RISE Challenge is:

The first step is investigation: students look at their community and their own experiences to see where they are vulnerable to natural hazards. Along the way they talk to stakeholders and develop a plan. Then, they implement their plan to ask for a change to make their community more resilient!

Each spring, students can submit their ideas to the RISE Challenge. Approved action plans receive funding and students implement their plan! 

As they go, students create an Action Story to become eligible to present their project at the RISE Challenge Summit and compete for prize money.

Students learn how to increase resilience to natural hazards where they live. Along the way, they work with community members to understand context and develop solutions to problems they see. The end result? They make their communities stronger, safer, and more prepared to deal with those hazards.

“The RISE program is a fantastic opportunity for students to become engaged in their community by not only learning about flooding and other natural hazard issues that impact their schools, neighborhoods and cities, but also by developing and implementing solutions to those problems. This comprehensive approach to learning will help develop more engaged and thoughtful citizens in the future. "
Marsha Hilmes-Robinson
Former Floodplain Administrator City of Fort Collins

Find us in your state


  • ​Colorado educators
  • Formal and non-formal educators
  • Open to grades 5-10


  • ​Illinois educators
  • Formal and non-formal educators
  • Open to grades 5-10


  • ​Montana educators
  • Formal and non-formal educators
  • Open to grades 5-10

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is the primary national sponsor of the RISE Challenge.

The ASFPM Foundation provides student award funding.

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