Future Problem Solvers teach elementary school students to ‘Drain the Hurricane’


Photo provided by Amy He

Sophomore Katelyn Ta passes out hurricane relief kits to the audience. These kits contain essential survival tools such as bandages, flashlights, ponchos and whistles.

In an effort to raise awareness for hurricane relief and preparedness, members of the Future Problem Solvers Club visited Highland Heights Elementary School yesterday to present to fifth graders and kindergarteners.

The members taught hurricane safety, including how hurricanes are formed, which areas are most affected, the threats of hurricanes and how to prepare. They also played a game and concluded by handing out kits and informative pamphlets.

While FPS had previously conducted virtual presentations with high schoolers, this was their first in-person presentation of the year to a much younger audience.

“Last time, presenting to high schoolers, we could give more high-level information, such as going into the details about carbon monoxide,” FPS president Amy He said. “We had to simplify this for our younger audience and rather focus on our game.”

For the game, members spread across the room, holding various shapes, each of which corresponded with a previously presented slide. The kindergarteners and fifth graders wandered around the room, searching for the information that matched with their given shape.

“The ultimate goal of the shape game was for the presentation to be more interactive and reinforce key points,” He said.

Every elementary student was eager to participate in the game, which only motivated the presenters.

“I was pleasantly surprised that the children were a lot more enthusiastic and interactive than any of us expected,” co-vice president Annelise Do said. “Everyone started participating in the game even though we had only selected a few kids.”

Despite a few technical difficulties, the in-person interaction allowed presenters to target a younger audience and made for a successful presentation.

“We felt a lot more energized by the end than we did at the beginning, and it made it worth leaving at 7 a.m. in 40-degree weather,” Do said. “Overall, it was a phenomenal presentation to start out with. I’m hoping it’ll set the tone for the rest to come.”

Staff members in the audience also expressed their appreciation for the presentation.

“Thank you all, the Bellaire students and the parents for coming out to Highland Heights Elementary,” PE Coach Leslie Barnes said. “These students will take this information back home and give it to their parents and it will help them. It also helps the teachers that were here today as well, to help us prepare for hurricanes.”

The presenters hope to reach parents through their kids and help them both recognize the necessity of preparing.

“Hurricanes are inevitable at times, but I want the kids to feel that they can overcome them,” He said.