September 20, 2018

Rocky Mountain Environmental Challenge

Colorado Classrooms Combating Flood Risk

Did you know that flooding is the most costly and common natural hazard in the United States? Together, Earth Force and FEMA Region VIII are championing the Rocky Mountain Environmental Challenge (RMEC), a classroom-based approach to reducing flood risk by equipping communities with the information and resources they need to enhance their mitigation plans and better protect their people and property.

The RMEC collaborates with Colorado public schools to enhance STEM curricula with project-based learning focused on mitigation education. Over the course of the school year, elementary and middle school students are challenged to research local flood risks, devise realistic mitigation methods, and collectively develop one proposal to enter into competition with other school districts. The exciting competition-style approach helps prepare educators to engage students in real-world problem solving and motivate and reward young learners for thinking creatively about how to protect their communities from flooding, America’s most prevalent and pricey natural hazard.

Rocky Mountain Environmental Challenge Brochure


Congratulations to the 2019 Winners of the Rocky Mountain Environmental Challenge!

For the second year in a row, Estes Park Middle School went home with first place in the Rocky Mountain Environmental Challenge. Congrats to all the young people who participated and their educators.

Take a look at a video of their award-winning presentation.


Earth Force and FEMA Region VIII look forward to expanding the RMEC to additional Colorado communities in the 2019-2020 school year.

For more information, please contact


Current participating community floodplain/stormwater management agencies include:

Interested in upcoming educator professional development or other opportunities to become involved? Contact Justin Zakoren for more information.