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Valley Academy students propose flooding mitigation measures to leaders

Valley Academy students propose flooding mitigation measures to leaders

Mrs. Lambert's STEAM classes at Valley.

A 30-year flood in Wenatchee caused significant damage to Valley Academy last spring and delayed the opening of the school for in-person classes this fall while contractors made final repairs. Two of Tamara Lambert’s STEAM classes at Valley took on the challenge of addressing flooding in the area to help prevent any future damage to the school. Using a project-based learning approach, a teaching method in which students learn by actively engaging in real-world and personally meaningful projects, the class spent the first part of the school year digging into the problem with the goal of recommending possible solutions the district could consider to prevent any future flood damage.

The class consulted with the city of Wenatchee drain specialists to develop a deeper understanding of wastewater management in the City and, in particular, around the school's location, which sits near the base of Maiden Lane on North Wenatchee Ave. Representatives from the City visited the class multiple times and provided significant data and information about options that could be explored. 

Students had recently completed a unit about floods and flash floods and were well prepared to begin the research phase of their project and identify some real-life solutions. Student teams researched water drainage patterns and various water mitigation strategies. Recommendations included simple, low-cost preventative measures such as septic barrier bricks and beehive grates to a more costly and complex detention vault that could hold a large amount of water and pump it into the city sewer system. Student teams presented their research and findings to representatives from the District’s cabinet team for consideration Tuesday afternoon. The cabinet will use the student proposals to help inform decisions about future stormwater mitigation work at the school. 

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