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How we learned to save an island from destruction

At our school we were chosen to save the people of Montserrat from a volcano and hurricane. Well, not exactly.

In the program E-missions, created by the Challenger Learning Center at Wheeling Jesuit University in West Virginia, kids go through a simulation of a volcanic eruption and hurricane on the island of Montserrat, while trying to protect the people on the island.

We must do different jobs, like graphing data, measuring seismic activity and tracking hurricanes. Information is given to the kids every five minutes. We are split into four groups -- evacuation, communication, volcano and hurricane. Here are our duties:

The hurricane team tracks the storm by longitude and latitude, and by its speed. It tracks the wind speed to find what category the hurricane is. The hurricane team predicts where and when it may hit the Caribbean island.

The volcano team follows the rock fall and the volcanic tremors. Team members also see the seismic activity of the volcano. They will give warnings to the communication and evacuation teams.

The evacuation team takes the volcano and hurricane teams' information and works together to help all the people from the towns evacuate. The evacuation team uses buses and cars and sometimes even fire trucks and ambulances to evacuate the people on the island. They need to look at maps to determine distances to shelters.

Team communication members talk with mission control and receive images and videos and share them with the other teams.

The E-mission was really fun. The four teams were all important. We all came together and saved the island's inhabitants. This program also can teach you how powerful nature really is.

To find out more or to participate, visit

e-missions.net

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