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