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Rocky Hill Country Day School Library: 2024 H4GG - MIDDLE SCHOOL

2024 MS H4GG


Your Challenge:

Providence is currently developing the PVD Comprehensive City Plan. According to the City of Providence website

Providence is positioned to grow into a world-class city within the next ten years. Mayor Smiley wants that growth to happen sustainably, increase Providence’s competitiveness with other cities, and nurture the things that make our city unique.

Over the next 3 days, you and your teammates will create an innovation that addresses one of the areas of improvement identified in the Listen & Learn survey.

If, after reviewing the survey, you and your team are struggling to define a problem that you want to solve, you may choose one of the problems below.


Noise Pollution

EMPATHIZE: Living in the city can be quite noisy which can impact resident's quality of life. Watch this video to learn more about noise pollution in Providence. As you watch, think about:

  • How do you feel when you are surrounded by loud noises for long periods?
  • How do you feel when you can get away from loud, bothersome noises?
  • How have you seen loud noises managed in other places?

DEFINE: Providence neighborhoods closest to major highways and streets need a way to reduce noise pollution caused by traffic as it is having negative health impacts on those who live there.

RESOURCES: Use the resources below to research noise pollution.


Transportation, Mobility, Public Transit

EMPATHIZE: Sustainable cities must have safe, reliable, environmentally friendly transportation options. Watch this video to understand the impact a bus driver shortage can have on a city. As you watch, think about:

  • How would you feel if you didn't have a reliable form of transportation to get to the places you needed to go?
  • What are the impacts on a community when its residents don't have reliable transportation?

DEFINE: RIPTA needs to hire and retain reliable bus drivers so that Providence residents can get to the places they need to go - school, work, stores, etc.

RESOURCES: Use the resources below to research sustainable urban transportation.

Parks, Green Space, Trees

EMPATHIZE: Green spaces make a difference in city sustainability. Watch this video to see which areas of Providence have the most and least green space and why expanding green space access is important. As you watch, think about:

  • How do you feel when you are in "green spaces"?
  • What sorts of activities and feelings do green spaces promote?


DEFINE: Providence neighborhoods with lower rates of home ownership and higher rates of poverty need more green spaces to promote physical, mental, and environmental health.

RESOURCES: Use the resources below to research safe, affordable urban housing.

Food Waste

EMPATHIZE: Many cities experience massive amounts of food waste and Providence is no exception. Watch this video to get a better understanding of the problem and to see what some community members are doing to respond. As you watch, think about:

  • How can food waste and hunger co-exist?
  • What might it feel like to experience hunger?
  • Where and why does most food waste occur?

DEFINE: Approximately 12% of Providence residents can be classified as "food insecure" while at the same time, 20% of what is in Rhode Island landfills is wasted food. Rhode Island residents need us to find a way to get the wasted food onto plates and out of landfills.

RESOURCES: Use the resources below to research food waste.

The Environment

EMPATHIZE: Providence is located at the northern tip of Narragansett Bay. Watch this video to learn about how the city is impacting plastic pollution in the Bay and reflect on:

  • How are microplastics negatively impacting the health of humans and other living creatures?
  • Why are so many microplastics winding up in Narragansett Bay?


DEFINE: The residents of Providence need the number of microplastics making their way into Narragansett Bay reduced in order to protect their health and the health of the ecosystem.

RESOURCES: Use the resources below to research ways to reduce microplastic pollution.


Stormwater Runoff

EMPATHIZE: 60% of Providence is covered in pavement which results in polluted water runoff into Narragansett Bay. Watch this video to get a better understanding of the problem. As you watch, think about:

  • What sorts of things might be getting washed into the bay?
  • What are the impacts of not enough water being absorbed by the ground?


DEFINE: The City of Providence needs to increase its green infrastructure to reduce the amount of stormwater runoff into Narragansett Bay.

RESOURCES: Use the resources below to research stormwater runoff.

Housing Affordability

EMPATHIZE: There is a severe shortage of affordable housing in Providence. As you watch this video, think about:

  • What would it feel like to work hard and still not have enough money to afford rent or a mortgage on a home?
  • What sacrifices do you think people might have to make to be able to afford rent?


DEFINE: Providence residents need safe and affordable housing options because when people have housing insecurity it is difficult for them to care for themselves or their families and participate in the life of their community.

RESOURCES: Use the resources below to research urban housing affordability.