Read about how two teenage friends helped their community stay safe from flash floods; identify key issues related to safety at low-water crossings; describe the health benefits of having a proactive mindset 


NHES 8: Advocate for personal, family, or community health.


CASEL COMPETENCY: Social awareness; responsible decision-making 


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Lesson Plan: They’re Helping Drivers Stay Safe

This month’s Changemakers were shocked when a flash flood caused tragedy in their community. Find out how they took action to keep others safe—in their neighborhood and beyond. 


How can I be proactive to improve my health and the health of others?


  1. What tragic event prompted Laya and Satvik to invent HydroAlert? A man from their community drowned after his truck was swept away at a low-water crossing during a flood.
  2. How does HydroAlert keep people safe? Describe at least one way HydroAlert works to save lives. Accept either of the following: As water levels rise, HydroAlert sends updates to an app that drivers can check to make sure the crossing is safe; first responders get an alert about unsafe crossings, so they can close the crossing before the water reaches a dangerous level.
  3. Explain the cost difference between HydroAlert and the water monitoring technology that existed before HydroAlert. Water monitoring technology before HydroAlert cost more than $30,000 per unit, but HydroAlert costs less than $50 per unit.


  1. You don’t have to invent something to be a Changemaker! Can you think of any programs, clubs, or initiatives at your school or in your community that are available to teens who want to help keep themselves and others safe? Some examples could be the SADD club or lifeguarding classes. Possible answers: SADD club, lifeguarding classes, robotics club.
  2. Are you currently involved in any of these programs, clubs, or initiatives that are focused on safety? If so, which one and why do you enjoy being a part of it? If you are not currently involved in anything like this, would you like to be? Why or why not? Answers will vary.




CASEL Competency: Responsible decision-making; self-awareness 

Have your students show they understand the importance of being proactive about safety by taking the short quiz, GET (PRO)ACTIVE IN YOUR COMMUNITY! Then, have them complete a short reflection on their current and future roles as community safety upstanders. (Click here to find this Skill Builder.)



CASEL Competency: Social awareness; responsible decision-making 

In this activity, your student will get a chance to look beyond the article to study a few TEEN INVENTORS MAKING A CHANGE. Students should research a few practical and cheap inventions made by teens to help keep their communities safe. Then, have them share their favorite cost-conscious safety solutions with the class! (Click here to find this Skill Builder.)

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