This work draws on the tenets of progressive education in that it seeks to be democratic, socially empowering, inclusive, and transdisciplinary. It seeks to inspire the co-creation of STEAM educational experiences which position students as change agents, who understand and employ the power of evidence-based reasoning to make informed decisions. Students learn how to access knowledge and tools to make ready for impending extreme weather. Working with community STEM mentors, they learn that science education can serve a vital social service. Just as important, they work with professional artists to develop the creative competencies necessary to effectively communicate their scientific understandings of the hazard risks. Through the power of both the sciences and the arts, students are then positioned to become resources of knowledge for their entire community.
The work is a collective impact initiative with the shared vision of reducing flood hazard risks in the most vulnerable communities. All partners contribute to the construction of knowledge and reciprocally inform the emerging teaching practices. This kind of work has been described by Catherine Snow as Practice Embedded Educational Research (PEER). The work features a high degree of collaboration and cross-training and revolves around an ethic of care. The researchers recognize that not all outcomes can be measured, especially the degree to which the final creative STEAM products are appreciated.