Klein ISD holds flood mitigation design challenge for teams of students

At an event last Friday, Klein ISD students worked on designing solutions that would protect a house from flooding.

At an event last Friday, Klein ISD students worked on designing solutions that would protect a house from flooding.

At an event held at Klein Multipurpose Center on Dec. 8, Klein ISD students worked on designing solutions to protect homes from flooding. The challenge was put to students by Jason Learning, a nonprofit organization that provides learning experiences in science, technology, engineering and math for students in kindergarten through high school.

KISD Chief Learning Officer Jenny McGown said the district was eager to participate in the challenge because it provides students with a unique opportunity. The recent flooding by Hurricane Harvey made the topic relevant to KISD students, she said.

McGown said 250 teams consisting of a total of 2,000 students signed up to participate in the challenge. The teams worked on their ideas for a few weeks prior to the event, but bringing all of the students together at the Klein Multipurpose Center allowed them to interact with each other. Students used a wide range of materials to express their designs, from poster board to a digital presentation.

Almost every KISD campus was present at the event—including Frank Elementary School, which brought 24 teams—FES Principal Eve Messina said. She said industry professionals from architecture and engineering firms also attended the event to inquire about students' designs and make suggestions.

Now that the design day has passed, teams have until Dec. 21 to submit their ideas for review. After all of the submissions are reviewed, 10 finalists will be chosen to present their final ideas to representatives from Google, Harris County Flood Control District and other organizations, McGown said. The winning team will receive funds or scholarships, she said.