Youth Engaging in the Science of Resilience: Sensing the Environment and Envisioning Solutions

Duwamish Valley Youth Corps students stand in front of a hand-drawn map pf community resilience

Empowering youth to help build climate resilience in their communities

The EDGE Community Engagement Core is working in partnership with the University of North Carolina— Chapel Hill (UNC) Institute for the Environment, the Duwamish Valley Youth Corps (DVYC), and Front and Centered to develop and adapt a curriculum aimed at teaching youth in the Duwamish Valley about climate change and climate resilience and empowering them to take action to build resilience in their own communities. The program— known as Youth Engaging in the Science of Resilience: Sensing the Environment and Envisioning Solutions or YES Resilience: SEE Solutions (YES Resilience)— is funded by the National Science Foundation. 

The YES Resilience curriculum features hands-on activities designed for informal learning settings such as museums, summer camps, or after-school and weekend programs. Most of these activities were developed by investigators at the UNC in collaboration with the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and the Juntos Program as part of a pilot project that ran from 2019-2022. 

In 2022 YES Resilience was expanded to Washington State when EDGE, DVYC, and Front and Centered joined UNC as partners, adapting the existing curriculum to the different environmental conditions and cultural considerations of South Seattle’s Duwamish Valley. The Seattle team is also working to develop a new lesson aimed at teaching about ways to address the health effects of wildfire smoke.

On November 11, 2023, the first cohort of YES Resilience students (known as YES Cadets) presented their projects to the community as part of the DVYC’s Youth Forum on Climate Justice. The presentation included poetry, story-telling, tips to prepare for flooding, and a map of future changes to the neighborhood that could help build resilience. These changes were presented for consideration to Alberto J. Rodríguez, former Duwamish Valley Advisor for the City of Seattle and lead architect of the Duwamish Valley Resilience District.

A new cohort of YES Cadets will start up in January of 2024.