The second challenge in our Forces of Nature project was different. Instead of dealing with a disaster-in-progress like yesterday, today was about planning and preparedness. The email students received started off like this: “Dear FEMA, my name is Amy Keller, I work in the White House Expense Office. The latest senate session has decided to issue a $500 million grant for ‘Earthquake Planning and Preparedness.’ I am contacting you to ask for advice on how to best spend the money.”
Students worked in teams of two and attempted to determine which cities deserved a portion of the money. By using the maps posted below, students determined that San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego should receive the majority of the funds. Then they got to work making recommendations on how the money should be spent. Should they strengthen roadways and bridges? Is it worth it to reinforce skyscrapers? Which is better, a sea-wall or tsunami detection buoys? In their emails, students provided $500 million worth of answers.