Our pilot year

During the 2014-2015 school year, Ripple Effect worked with six teachers across five grade levels. The program focused on the design process and New Orleans-specific water knowledge. Participants tested processes and methodologies, and took part in field trips, collaborative workshops with designers and water experts, and the creation of visual unit plans.

  • At KIPP Central City Primary, students learn about regional water issues by studying their own courtyard.

2014-2015 Impact and activities

  • Workshops ranged from day-long experiences to shorter sessions focused on specific topics, such as visual unit planning or modeling skills.
  • Field trips took the team out to key water infrastructure sites around New Orleans, such as Bayou St. John and city’s drainage pump stations.
  • In the classroom, teachers taught one Ripple Effect unit in each semester. Over 300 students at KIPP Central City Primary engaged in one- to two-week long units in fall 2014 and spring 2015.
  • Ripple Effect initiated the KIPP Central City Primary schoolyard redesign project. The team raised over $160,000. The result is an inspiring and fun landscape that captures the first half inch of rain that falls on the school courtyard.
  • The State of Louisiana awarded Ripple Effect $4,850 to design and build a kid-friendly groundwater and water quality monitoring field station at KIPP Central City Primary.
  • Ripple Effect contributed to the development of New Orleans’s first resilience strategy, which includes environmental education among  three categories of resilience-building actions for the city and its partners.
  • The Ripple Effect team tested their methodologies with a group of 30 teachers from around the country at the 2014 KIPP summit in Houston, Texas.
  • 2014 Family Bayou Day brought over 100 KCCP community members out to Bayou St. John for a day of canoeing, scientific exploration, boat-building, and artwork.
  • Ripple Effect convened thinkers and leaders in fields ranging from engineering to environmental advocacy and writing for two in-depth discussions about the ways in which Ripple Effect can build upon its pilot year, and to map out potential directions for growth this year.

2016-2017 Key goals

  1. Expand and diversify teacher recruitment.
  2. Strengthen teacher training and curriculum design processes.
  3. Expand operational capacity to support teachers better and to reach more students.
  1. Help shape direction of environmental education, community engagement, policy, and activism around water and environmental issues.
  2. Establish New Orleans as a national center for innovative environmental education.
  3. Create opportunities for student empowerment and leadership outside the classroom.