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Students at Seward High School have been using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV’s) to map rivers and creeks in order to analyze flood-prone areas in our community. The Bear Creek Flood Board uses these maps to mitigate areas in need of flood prevention.

Environmental Science and Engineering teacher George Reising and his students recently have been recognized for their efforts. On March 6, a $5,000 grant was presented to the class by Safeway manager Delbert Leavitt. Leavitt stated, “This is a very important award. Only five programs in the state were presented with awards, and George was one of them.”

Reising explained that they have experienced mechanical difficulties with the drones, so with this grant, they plan on buying a more reliable, commercial product. Reising continued to explain they also would like to “share this concept with other schools around us such as Soldotna and Nikiski,” so they can in-turn help their communities.

Juniors Lindy Guernsey and Akilena Veach are passionate about this project. Guernsey stressed the importance “because it can save a lot of homes” due to the fact many neighborhoods are in flood-prone areas. Veach shared how excited she was to see what improvements could be made to the program. Both are actively recruiting new students to train and share their knowledge of flood-mapping technology.

Sophie Dow is a reporter at the Seward High School Today. Read more at shstoday.org.