What is Ripple Effect?

We are a community of teachers, water experts, and design educators working to establish water literacy in schools. We create standards-aligned and design-based learning experiences that connect to real places.  

  • Kindergarten students use colored beads and drawings to study the flow of water over different surfaces.
  • Water experts review and critique the structure and content of each teacher’s unit, which contain 5-15 daily lessons.
  • Curriculum is always based on developing solutions for real places that are affected by local water issues.
  • Outreach events provide students and their families with safe and fun water experiences.
  • Students often collaborate during the design process, mirroring the ways in which “big problems” are addressed in the real world.

We develop design-based environmental science curricula that meet national science standards, while providing students with the skills they will need to lead their communities in an era of climate change and sea-level rise.

To learn more, view our 2016 Foundation & Vision Report

View Report

Our story

In 2012, Ripple Effect took root as an experiment in one Central City classroom. One teacher and 3 designers started with a simple idea: teach 25 students about local water issues by asking them to solve flooding in their own school playground. Using the Greater New Orleans Urban Water Plan as our textbook, students learned about waterways and green infrastructure, flooding and subsidence.

Today, we are working in schools across Greater New Orleans, and building upon partnerships with the New Orleans Sewerage & Water Board and Waggonner & Ball Architects.

How we’re funded

This program receives funding from the Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

About the Sewerage & Water Board

The Sewerage and Water Board has been serving citizens and protecting the environment since 1899. Originally formed to combat disease by providing safe drinking water and eliminating the health hazards of open sewer ditches, today the S&WB continues its mission using 21st century technology.