Rocky Mountain Environmental Hazard Challenge & Summit Information
WHAT is the Rocky Mountain Environmental Hazards Challenge (RMEHC)?
Part competition, part summit, the RMEHC combines project-based learning with the latest research in high-quality STEM education to engage students in action projects that improve their communities.
WHY the RMEHC?
- Transforms classrooms by grounding learning in issues students care about to transform classrooms into vibrant learning communities.
- Deepens learning by asking students to leverage experience, harness internal and external resources, develop a plan, and implement that plan in their community.
- Builds problem-solving skills by giving students hands-on experience designing and implementing a project in their community.
- Develops citizenship by supporting students as they engage with community stakeholders to solve a local problem which develops the habits of good citizenship.
- Develops skills in creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, and communication – the foundation for the 21st century learning – by asking students to work as a team that is engaging members of their local community.
How It Works
The Rocky Mountain Environmental Hazards Challenge is open to Northern Colorado educators and students, grades 5 – 10. Guided by the Earth Force Community Action & Problem-Solving Process, participants learn about the natural hazards impacting their communities, select an issue to focus on, conduct in-depth research and engage community stakeholders, define a strategy for addressing their natural hazard issue, and present it in an action plan proposal. Submitted written proposals will be reviewed by a panel of local judges. Earth Force will hold a culminating summit for all participants to showcase their work. Groups with the top proposals will be invited to present to a panel of expert judges at the summit for the chance to win prize money!
- All proposal entries are eligible to receive funding to help implement proposed projects
- Awards will be presented to the top 5 winning proposals, determined on summit day as a combined score of the written proposal score and summit day presentation score. Prizes money ranges from $1,000 for 1st place to $200 for 5th Place.
- Read all about the 2019 RMEHC including the winning projects.
Information for Getting Started
Educator Professional Development: Classroom educators interested in the Rocky Mountain Environmental Hazards Challenge have the opportunity to take part in our professional development opportunities. Earth Force provides participating educators with no-cost, high-quality professional development sessions in our award-winning Community Action & Problem-Solving Process. Our Process offers classroom educators a framework for transforming their Project-Based Learning and useful tools for guiding students through community-based civic action projects. Contact Justin Zakoren for more information.
Important Dates & Suggested Project Timeline
- Educators attend a professional development workshop
- Develop a classroom implementation plan
- Work with students to identify environmental hazards in your community
- Choose and research key issues
- Connect with experts to discover root causes
- Decide on one issue to explore
- Take advantage of ongoing Professional Development opportunities
- Decide on a project to address the chosen issue
- Develop proposal for action
- In-service workshops available for development support
- March 13, 2020 submission deadline
- Start implementation of action project
- Attend the Rocky Mountain Environmental Challenge Summit (May 7, 2020) with the possibility to win PRIZE money
In partnership with:
Earth Force and FEMA Region VIII look forward to expanding the RMEHC to additional Colorado communities in the 2019-2020 school year.
Current participating community floodplain/stormwater management agencies include: