Brevard students monitoring sea levels, Indian River Lagoon health

PALM BAY, Fla. – The next generation studying global weather patterns and rising sea levels, could be a group of high school students working on the Indian River Lagoon.

The students are part of Heritage High School’s Academy of Environmental Water and Technology.

The academy is part of Brevard Public Schools’ career and technical program that helps students get jobs right out of high school.

Heritage High School officials say it has more than 100 students in grades 9 through 12 taking part in the program.

Kendall Doran is their teacher.

“They’re very engaged and immediately are concerned,” Doran said about the students researching the lagoon.

“All different aspects of environmental stewardship and climate change, one of the things that we do is we participate in the “see a difference in the lagoon day,” a day in the life of the Indian River Lagoon,” she said.

Doran’s students take samples that not only give an indication of the lagoon’s health, year-to-year data can also show how water levels might be changing.

“It’s compiled with other data that’s taken throughout the county,” Doran said. “They get to track it throughout the years.”

At other Brevard County public schools, the district said it follows state education standards, “when it comes to teaching about climate and related issues in our classrooms.”

That includes an environmental science elective.

Some of the students in the Heritage High School program graduate and go on to study engineering.

NASA’s engineers right now say that on Florida’s east coast, sea levels are expected to rise three feet in the next 60 or 70 years.

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