Extreme Event on the Road: Kansas City Students Explore Preparedness and Health Science Careers

PREP-KC students make decisions about which resources to invest in during the Prepare Phase of Extreme Event: River City

In this week’s Extreme Event on the Road feature, we’re highlighting another organization that facilitated their own Extreme Event as part of a summer program for students focused on health and biosciences careers.

PREP-KC (Partnership for Regional Educational Preparation – Kansas City) is a non-profit organization founded in 2005 to develop, leverage, and deploy resources to create significant improvements in student achievement in the bi-state Kansas City region’s urban schools.  Specifically, PREP-KC supports strategies focused on college and career-preparation by creating new partnerships between educators, employers, and higher education leaders.  

Participants assess their neighborhood’s challenge and take stock of their available resources after a flood has struck River City

This summer the HealthStart career academy designed innovative experiences focused on health and bioscience careers for students and teachers from seven partnering school districts in Kansas and Missouri. In June 2017, their Missouri program introduced 55 students to disaster preparedness and careers in health science. As part of this program, Kellyann Jones-Jamtgaard, the PREP-KC Career Academies Liaison, helped the students navigate a devastating flood in Extreme Event: River City. The River City scenario parallels Kansas City closely due to the city’s proximity to the Missouri River with many parts of Missouri flooding during heavy rains. Kellyann shared, “The Extreme Event game was an engaging way to introduce the students to the roles everyone in a community can play during a natural disaster, not just healthcare workers and first responders.”  

PREP-KC students brace themselves for another surprise challenge during Extreme Event: River City

Kellyann was inspired to facilitate the Extreme Event game after playing it with the Koshland Museum staff this spring during her Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy fellowship at the National Academy of Sciences. She was able to successfully facilitate the game using the online resources, creating all the game materials, and getting advice from the Koshland staff. The students had fun trying to find all their resources and quickly learned to pay attention to surprise alerts when new challenges were issued. “During the discussion, students were thoughtful in explaining what courses of action would benefit the greater good during a natural disaster and also in wrestling with whether all neighborhoods truly have equitable access to resources. Most important of all, playing Extreme Event highlighted the importance of having a plan for their families in case of a disaster.” 

To learn more about PREP-KC and its impact in the Kansas City region, please visit

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