Students Stop Flooding by Engineering a ‘Beaver Deceiver’

Jackson 1Earth Force students found a way to stop flooding at the local nature center while protecting local beavers.

Students discovered a local beaver population moving into the creek in their Outdoor Learning Center, next to their school. Although they were excited to have the beavers near the learning center, the beavers were creating dams on the creek, and when it rained, the water would back up and flood.

By consulting experts in their community, like environmental engineers at General Motors and biologists at the Texas Parks and Wildlife District, they learned about a “beaver deceiver,” which allowed the beavers to stay, but prevented future flooding.

Beaver DeceiverWorking with their community experts, 45 students engineered the “beaver deceiver.” By installing PVC pipe to divert water around the dam, the excess water from a heavy rain was redirected without the area flooding. The beavers continue to live in the Outdoor Learning Center, and the students get to enjoy them in their natural habitat.

“Earth Force programming allows educators to teach in a way that not only empowers the students to become citizen scientists and leaders in their own community, but also allows the educators to participate as facilitators of that knowledge and to nurture a hands-on, minds-on community of learners,” Tracy Hollis, formerly with Grand Prairie Independent School District.


Kristen Mueller leads national communications, creating engagement and excitement around Earth Force, and its partners’, hands on, minds on programming. Specializing in traditional media and social media relations, she brings youth voice and leadership to the forefront of the environmental education field.