Challenge: Help a community recover from a disaster. - Challenge Based Learning

Challenge: Help a community recover from a disaster.

Resilience: Help a community recover from a disaster

August 31, 2017 | By

In 2011 a brilliant group of 10 – 12-year-old students and their teachers from Ringwood North Primary in Melbourne Australia developed a challenge to help Christchurch, New Zealand and Queensland, Australia recover from a series of natural disasters. The solutions identified and implemented by the students demonstrate how everyone can make a positive difference in people’s lives while learning.

With the recent disaster of Hurricane Harvey devastating communities throughout the Gulf Coast of the United States, the challenge of “Help a community recover from a disaster.” developed by the students of Ringwood North Primary provides a model for how schools can learn, reach out, and help. Learn more about the original challenge and then take action and make a difference to help the people impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

Big Idea: Resilience
Essential Question: How do communities recover from disasters
Challenge: help a community recover from a disaster

Sample Guiding Questions:

  • Who was impacted by the disaster?
  • How were they impacted?
  • Who is currently helping?
  • Who is organizing help?
  • Where can we find the best information?
  • Where are there gaps?
  • What can be learned from past recovery efforts?
  • What is the best thing we can do to help?
  • How do we find out who needs help?
  • What is a hurricane?
  • What causes flooding?

Sample Guiding Activities:

  • Learn the science of hurricanes.
  • Learn about the communities currently impacted.
  • Learn about the politics and economics of natural disasters.
  • Determine where people are being relocated.
  • Study past hurricanes and learn about the recovery efforts.
  • Research organizations involved in the current recovery effort.
  • Learn about communities that have recovered from natural disasters.
  • Research issues with flood insurance.
  • Contact Ringwood North Primary to learn about their experience.

Synthesize – what did we learn? What is the best way we can help?

Solution Development – Put your learning into positive action by creating actionable and informed solutions

Develop action plans and Implement the solutions

Evaluation – What did we learn, how can we change things?

Sample Prompts:

  • Why is it important to help?
  • Why is it important to understand before helping?
  • What are the ways that everyone can help?
  • How does it feel to help?


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