We are 5 students studying in 11 IB in Gazi University Foundation Private High School and we want to raise awareness about safety in traffic. We were interested in this issue and talking about it in the class and when our teacher informed us about this project, we decided to take a part in this project to make our ideas come to life by this way.
Our school is in a busy district where there are many businesses and therefore many cars and we were concerned about the safety of students passing school crosswalk. This led us to take actions and handle this project. As the following step, we made a map of our ideas and gathered our opinions to create a project which will also be beneficial to others. We brainstormed and find out that cross-walks have a significant role in pedestrian safety. We have encountered and observed many situations about cross-walks. School crosswalk in front of our school gate has also been too busy, because of the fact that many parents drop and pick up their kids from school and wait or stop for them on the crosswalk. We came up with many ideas to raise awareness among kids and also parents.
We decided that firstly we should acknowledge how much students know about traffic rules and signs. We have conducted a survey among the students at Gazi University Foundation Private High school. Our survey had 14 questions, and questions were mainly about if students felt safe while crossing a road and also a crosswalk. This survey evaluated the high school students traffic knowledge such as the value of the fines when a driver does not obey rules. We found out that high school students have insufficient knowledge about traffic rules.
We have cultivated our knowledge of traffic by doing more research. We have learned that in Turkey’s education system, safety in traffic is given as a class for the first time in third grade in primary school. This was the reason where we have come up with our idea to teach second and first grades traffic rules. The crosswalk in front of our school isn't that eye-catching and we wanted it to be more striking. So, we think it will be beneficial to build a 3D crosswalk.
Based off these survey questions, we organized an event to raise awareness. We organized an event for primary school students of Gazi University Foundation Private Primary School. The aim of this event was to raise awareness about road safety to primary school students because our group believes that informing students from a younger age will increase the number of people who have awareness about their environment and also traffic rules for better future.
We made research on how can we efficiently teach primary school students traffic rules and how we can get their attention to the significance of crosswalks and make the things we will be teaching permanently. After our research we understood that it is important to teach students in the way which will be entertaining and where they can actively take apart; therefore, we prepared a game of traffic rules, additionally simulation of traffic. Before our game, we showed students some of the traffic signs such as “caution, stop and crosswalk “etc. and taught them what are the meanings of the signs. For them, to practice, we created a game where students tried to guess the meanings of them based on what they have learned. Furthermore, we put them in a simulation where they actively used their knowledge by taking part. In this simulation, students were given the roles of the traffic police, pedestrians, drivers and also the traffic light. We created a small road and put crosswalks and designed the atmosphere. We made them switch roles with each other for them to understand the responsibilities of each role in traffic. Our project got really good support from teachers and also students. Many teachers said that there should be more events to teach kids about traffic for their safety like our project.
In addition, we deduced from the survey that high school students did not have enough information about traffic. Moving from this, we decided to make a bulletin board to enhance their knowledge of high schoolers.
Furthermore, we made a request to our school principal about the 3-dimensional crosswalk. Our school have contacted with ministry to change our school’s crosswalk and to build up a new crosswalk which will be more efficient. We are still waiting for Ministry’s response to us, yet we are working hard to do our best and also we will be still willing to do as much as we can as soon as they respond.
We started off this project with our school as our first step but we hope that our initiations will be the step to promote awareness and safety on roads.