Cockermouth Floods 2009

Cumbria Floods Donations

This is not a science post, but if you’ve heard about the big floods that ran through Cockermouth, Cumbria (in the UK), over the last week then here is a chance to help out. There are some class project ideas at the end of the post.

Cockermouth is my home town in the UK and is the point where two rivers (the Cocker and the Derwent) meet. In the recent huge ranfall, both rivers bust their banks and flooded the whole Main Street and Market Places, as well as many residential areas. Some major bridges were destroyed, effectively turning the town into an island. Many people have been evacuated from their homes and the clean-up operation will take a long time. More damage was sustained by towns across Cumbria, including Workington and Keswick, and a policeman lost his life, trying to save others. The emergency services responded fantastically, saving many people – and their pets!

Here’s a video explaining why Cockermouth was hit so hard:

Cockermouth Aftermath

Cockermouth Aftermath

See some photo sets of the damage here:

BBC NewsEscape to Cumbria

Being on the other side of the world (Indonesia – which has more than its fair share of disasters recently), all I can think of to help is to encourage people give donations if they can. If you want to help out, please visit the Charities Aid Foundation website for the Cumbrian Community Foundation. I’d encouarage local IB schools to get involved in the clean-up operation, too.

Science/ Engineering links

Recent flooding and natural disasters give us a lot to think about as global citizens and scientists. Here are some ideas for projects and activities you could do in class related to the theme:

– How do flood defenses work?

– Design a flood-protection system

– How do we predict rainfall and rising water levels? How accurate are these predictions?

– How do emergency services respond to these events? How are they coordinated?

– Create a post-flood plan for a damaged town.

– What are the health risks of large-scale flooding? How can they be reduced?

Interdisciplinary Group 4 Project (IB) idea:

“How can science prevent, mitigate and aid recovery following natural disasters?”

One more Science link: Did you know that Cockermouth and the surrounding area were home to John Dalton, the father of atomic theory?

About Stephen

International Educator: China via Japan, Indonesia & the UK. Director of Innovation in Learning & Teaching. Science educator. Twitterist (@sjtylr), dad and bloggerer. MA International Education & current EdD student. Experienced Director of Learning & MYP Coordinator. Interested in curriculum, pedagogy, purposeful EdTech and global competence. Find out more: Science site:

Posted on November 22, 2009, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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