Lesson 2: Flood Risks


  • You will learn some of the most common types of flooding and consider what kinds are most likely to affect Miami.
  • You will learn how to collect data after floods.

Time to Complete

1 to 3 hours


  1. Review the Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core ELA Standards related to this course.

  1. As you work through the Big IDEAS design thinking process, you should continually reference the standards to ensure that several of the standards are addressed through your design plan.

Let’s Get Started

Read this article on types of floods. Summarize each kind of flood in the worksheet below. Upload your worksheet using the button at the bottom of the page.

  1. River Flood
  2. Coastal Flood
  3. Storm Surge
  4. Inland Flooding
  5. Flash Flood

What kind of flood poses the greatest risk to Miami? Why do you believe this? Use the Notes tool to write your answer.

  1. Two groups of people who study floods are climatologists and meteorologists. Read this article about them and use the Notes tool to record the differences.
  1. Watch the video Collecting Flood Data—As you are watching, take notes in the Notes tool about how data is collected and shared. (dates and times, locations, magnitude, loss of property or life, etc.)
  1. After viewing the video, think about how difficult it was to collect all the data.
  2. You will be using a collaborative approach to data collection, which is precisely what scientists do when generating their own data. You will communicate with a small group of students over Zoom, Skype, email, text, or any distance learning collaboration tool your school has adopted. Form a group that you will work with for the rest of this module. If you are working independently, for the following activities enlist the help of one or more members of your household.
  3. Share some data points from the video with your group. Create a shared Google Doc for group members to record their responses, five minutes at a time.
  4. After each group member has had several turns recording the data they collected from the video, try to reach a consensus about the data.
  5. Then, watch the video again to validate the data. Pause and rewind the video as needed during the validation process.

Let’s Get to Work

  1. With your group, generate a list of ways in which floods could affect the Miami community. These categories would include health, architecture, economics, education, infrastructure (bridges, roads, power) etc. Use a shared Google Doc to record your group members’ responses. Reference What Are The Consequences Of Flooding? You should skim the article for other categories of consequences that you may not have considered.
  2. As a group, discuss the consequences you’ve written about. What are the ways floods could affect the Miami community? What are some consequences you hadn’t considered but you learned about in the article? Record your answers in the Notes tool.

Let’s Wrap Up

  1. You will be working through the Big IDEAS cycle to learn more about types of floods and their effect on the residents of Miami, and will develop a product to address the problem.
  2. Recall each of the steps in the Big IDEAS cycle:

Use the Notes tool to identify one consequence of floods on Miami that you would like to learn more about and mitigate.

Be sure to upload all of your completed PDFs before moving on to the next lesson.