• Natural Disaster Experts

    Posted by Sheryl Wells on 5/22/2019

    Natural Disaster Experts at Killip Elementary School’s STEM Lab


    Killip Elementary School was incredibly excited to host scientists from the Flagstaff area to speak with our 3rd-5th grade students for their natural disasters unit over the past two weeks. Each disaster group of 25+ students had the opportunity to ask questions and see the disasters in action!

    Greg Vaughn presenting to students about volcanoes and earthquakes



    Our volcano and earthquake groups had an absolute blast with USGS scientist Greg Vaughan in the STEM Lab on Monday, May 6th. We were grateful to have him share his expertise and personal experiences, including showing videos of lava flows in Hawaii and earthquakes in Japan. The students came prepared with insightful and high-level questions which needed detailed answers.





    National Weather Service presentation


    The tornado and flood groups spent sessions with meteorologists Brian Klimowski and Megan Taylor from the National Weather Service on Tuesday, May 7th. Both gave engaging talks and showed examples of their respective disasters that occurred in the Flagstaff area. Students with questions for the experts from the National Weather Service







    Geologist and student in a deep discussion over rock samples.



    As a last minute addition, we were fortunate to give our volcanoes group another expert; staff geologist Ryan Thompson from Speedie & Associates Inc. on Thursday, May 9th. After using Google Earth to illustrate volcanic activity all over the world, he showed his collection of volcanic rocks and explained how they formed.



    Students learn about droughts.



    Our drought group had a productive session with scientist Molly McCormick from the USGS Southwest Biological Science Center. She coordinates the Restoration Assessment & Monitoring Program for theSouthwest (RAMPS) program, and her expertise brought a unique perspective for helping to mitigate the effects of drought in our area. 



    Students are gathered around a model of a forest and road to learn about fires.



    Finally, fire prevention specialist Andrew Hostad gave the fire group a demonstration on how wildfires can lead to increased flooding. This connection was illustrated using coffee grounds and a sponge, which represented runoff and trees respectively. When the water went through this area, the flooding was minimized. When the trees were burned down, however, there was nothing to stop the water from entering other parts of the area.




    The students were consistently engaged and curious about each presentation, and will certainly be a massive help for their presentations happening this week. Thank you to our speakers!

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