Kids Teaching Flood Resilience is a research and outreach initiative founded by Dr. Merrie Koester of the University of SC Center for Science Education in response to the need to empower vulnerable communities to step up, get ready for, and respond to increasing flood hazard risks in Charleston County.  


The KTFR project is devoted to building Practice-Embedded Educational Research (PEER) partnerships between STEM educators, professional artists, and civic leaders to effect positive change in historically underserved schools and communities - especially those that are highly vulnerable to extreme weather hazards like flooding.   To date, leaders from over 16 organizations, including National Weather Service meteorologists, the Charleston Resilience Network, and four different City government offices, have served as mentors and knowledge generators in the emerging project.  Both the College of Charleston and the Citadel have served as higher education partners in this collective impact effort to GET HURRICANE SMART!

In September, 2019, NOAA recognized KTFR for excellence as a Weather Ready Nation Ambassador program.


We ASK:  What opportunities for positioning youth as resources of STEM and preparedness knowledge can be developed in partnership with multiple stakeholders around a shared vision of mitigating hazard risks due to extreme weather events - especially flood hazard risks?  


We IMPLEMENT:  A PLACE & PROBLEM-BASED (PBL) approach to create culturally responsive hazard risk messaging grounded in knowledge students acquire about what to NOTICE, KNOW, and DO in the event of an extreme weather event like a hurricane in their local community.

We ANALYZE:  How is this flooding (or potential hazard) affecting ME and my family?  We ask what our families may already know about this problem and what their existing plans to mitigate harm to us may be.  


We SEE that  we need STEM knowledge to truly understand what’s behind all this flooding (or other hazard) and and why it’s getting worse. 


We EXPECT that we’ll have to work hard. 








We CONNECT with community MENTORS like the  National Weather Service, SC Sea Grant Consortium, the Charleston Resilience Network, who provide us with scientifically vetted information and data.   We depend on coalitions of emergency management specialists and other civic leaders to help guide the messaging that is embedded in the emerging curriculum. 


We work with PROFESSIONAL ARTISTS, who help us develop the CREATIVE COMPETENCIES we need to MAKE and then publicly share a product that can be used to effectively communicate what we have learned here. 





WE KNOW that our work matters!


© 2018 by Merrie Koester, Ph.D.