On Thursday, April 26th, San Bernardino High School’s First Responders Pathway organized, prepared, and put on an Emergency Preparedness Fair in the Cardinal City Arena. The student-run event is an annual collaboration between Mrs. Wilson, the pathway’s sophomore and junior English teacher, and Mr. Battle, the First Responder pathway’s CTE teacher.
Planning for the event began at the beginning of the year. Students conducted research on their chosen emergency, contacted experts, and planned their presentations. They also created their presentation materials, including PowerPoints, brochures, display boards, interactive displays such as an erupting volcano, and activities for the audience.
Students contacted experts and vendors, including Cal Trans, Master Food Preserves, SoCal Edison, and the Red Cross. Christine Timms and Patricia Smith of the Red Cross were excited to participate in the Fair. They commented that the students did a great job with their preparation, information, and presentations. Part of the reason Christine and Patricia participated in the event is because they feel it’s important for every house to have smoke detectors and they felt this event was a good place to spread that message.
It was evident how well-prepared the students were and how serious they took the Emergency Preparedness Fair as I walked through the displays and talked to the students. The Hurricane display created by Alondra Guerrero, Celia Quevedo, and Rhianna Flota was informative and well-presented. The girls were eager to demonstrate their knowledge and asked questions to those who stopped at their display to gauge what the audience knew about hurricanes and how to prepare for one.
All students who were asked about the value of the event and the process of planning and organizing such an event said it was a positive and worthwhile experience.
Celia Quevedo said the process was long, but the research process was informative, especially since when everyone in the group discovered the same information, they were encouraged to keep researching and to find additional information that wasn’t as common. She also said the experience was relevant and provided the students with opportunities to use real-life skills, such as researching, creating a presentation, talking in public, understanding the proper way to present yourself, as well as preparing for emergencies.
Eric Morales, whose group chose volcanoes, said this was really important because “learning to present [themselves] to the public is a necessary skill and there are two major volcanoes in the United States and it’s important for people to know about them.”