Students of Shanahan Middle School’s STEM program were issued a challenge by teachers to design a model house that can resist natural disasters. On Friday morning the middle schoolers sought advice from the team members of Delaware County’s Emergency Management Agency.
Stephanie Schneemann, STEM teacher, said last year’s students were asked to look a variety of natural disasters, but this year they focused on flooding and designing a home that was water proof.
“We are in a spot here in Ohio that we don’t see a lot of natural disaster,” teacher Adam Savage said. “Getting these kids thinking about this kind of stuff is a challenge. We are asking for their houses to be water-proof.”
Some of the criteria for the house was to possibly build it on stilts or poles she said. One student asked if they could simply build a house boat.
Ella Ballard sat in the back row listening to sheriff’s deputies talk about natural disasters.
“We are to build a model that holds up against wind and stuff.”
Delaware County Sheriff Deputy Doug Simila told the STEM students, “The most common thing we deal with here is storms, wind and flooding,” he said. “Water is extremely powerful. I saw a lady’s car floating down the road and the fire department had to go get her out.”
Schneemann said as the teaching staff was putting the project together she came across Sandy Mackey, public information officer, with the county EMA. Schneemann contacted Mackey to set up a field trip.
Mackey said, all the public agencies work together to help the community when a natural disaster occurs in the county.
“I just though it would be nice to bring in all the partners,” she said. “We all do something, but we don’t do it separate. We do it as a public safety team.”
Deputy Monica Rice told the students that during a natural disaster the county dog shelter sets up a trailer for pets. The inside has individual cages people can put their pet in to keep them safe.
“It’s really great; people won’t evacuate without their pets,” Mackey said.
Schneemann said, the idea behind the field trip is to get the kids to understand the collaboration and working with other people and agencies.
D. Anthony Botkin may be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @dabotkin.