High School Students in Kansas Learn about Building Community Resilience

In February 2020, Integrated Science teachers Mariah Ramos and Melissa Reinhart of Spring Hill High School in Spring Hill, KS used the Extreme Event game with their students. Mariah writes, “I chose the game because I wanted to show students the real-world decisions and impacts of a disaster. It can be easy for students to brush off a crisis if discussed in the abstract.” Melissa adds, “We were studying rivers and flooding, and thought the topic of disaster resilience would spark great discussion and help tie what we’d been learning to real, practical skills and concerns for our students.”

About 80 students over three class periods played the Extreme Event flood version and “seemed to really enjoy both the game and the post- [game] discussion”. The students learned a lot about the different types of decisions made during a disaster and the importance of developing community resilience before the disaster strikes. Availability and distribution of resources was another topic explored during the discussion. Students observed how some groups had shared their resources while others had hoarded them during the disaster. Additionally, students realized that no municipality could afford to be prepared fully for every disaster and would have to make trade-offs about what to invest in. Melissa says, “We gave the example of the city of Fuquay Varina, North Carolina not owning many snow plows [since] it’s not a good use of money in that city to buy snow equipment when they see maybe 2 inches of snow over the course of 5 years.” The students also experienced the need for flexibility during a disaster and explored the need for planning as a whole community as opposed to just fending for yourself.


Mariah writes, “Thanks again for helping me provide such a unique and awesome experience for my students!”

You can find Spring Hill High School on Facebook and Twitter.

Watch the video below to see a quick trailer of the Extreme Event game, then learn how easy it is to bring the Extreme Event Game to your group, community or classroom. You can do-it-yourself and download the game materials free, rent the game materials for mailing costs, or LabX can bring the game and a trained facilitator to you!

If you have run the Extreme Event Game in your group or classroom, we would love to feature a story about you! Send email to labx@nas.edu.