Students at Lake Worth High School study climate issues and social vulnerability

LAKE WORTH, Fla. — Local students and teachers at Lake Worth High School are part of a pilot program, involving a collaboration between EcoRise and AT&T. This is an effort to bring localized climate resilience tools to South Florida classrooms. The interactive map links climate change to socio-economic vulnerability.

“My favorite part was learning about how climate change can affect our community and how each neighborhood is different, like higher wind speeds and more flooding in each neighborhood,” said Lake Worth student Sonia Antonio. Highschool.

Students and teachers are part of the pilot program involving geographic information system mapping and visualization programs.

“The goal is to create a more climate-resilient awareness for the student body,” said Caleb Rice, a teacher at Lake Worth High School.

“It allows them to look at climate change in the context of their community. Specifically neighborhood by neighborhood, the impact it will have,” said Lake Worth High School teacher Erik Johnson. “One of the ultimate goals of this is to build student engagement with the community on how to mitigate these climate risks.

Students said they thoroughly examined areas in Palm Beach County, including around Lake Worth High School, Pahokee and Lake Worth Beach.

“I think it’s really important for everyone to learn about this. Because I didn’t know before,” said student Chelsea Louis.

“When we looked at where we live, how it might affect us, my family and the future, we really started to understand and grasp the situation,” said student Michael Torres.

“Florida is also a prime location for hurricanes,” Rice explained. “Seeing some of these projections is really informative for students living in the regions… A map with overlays showing socio-economic vulnerability and some other factors with respect to climate resilience, such as the wind speed projection for the next 50 years, projections of inland flooding for the next 50 years, and coastal flooding.

The end goal? Maybe get kids to engage with local governments.

“Looking at Lake Worth Beach for example. what are they doing about sustainability? What are their measures to fight against climate change? said Johnson “The goal is for the students to maybe even come up with their suggestions on how we can mitigate risk.”

The hope is that the pilot program will be rolled into more schools and classrooms after being phased out.

Teresa H. Sadler