We have worked on road safety, risk behaviours and prevention. We attempted to raise public awareness, so we worked with primary school students, secondary school students and high school students.
At first, when we discussed road safety, we talked about new innovations for cars, and traffic lights. We designed new traffic signs that could help. Besides the fact that they were all meant to make roads a safer place, we realized that they all had something in common: they were trying to prevent accidents caused by people’s insensitivity by making mechanical changes. So we realized that we had to work on this insensitivity. Because as much as we do something about the mechanics, as long as people are not sensitive to safety rules, there will be accidents. Taking everything into account, we thought that it would be appropriate to explain basic information about risky behaviours, and necessary precautions to avoid them, to primary, middle, and high school students who have vivid imaginations. Therefore, the work we did was to see the world from their eyes and walk in their shoes to find solutions to make our future better.
We believe that the best way to create this awareness in our community is to start with our kids: future road users (the younger generation). Education is the essential tool to pass on this knowledge and awareness. As a result, while deciding the events and activities that we were going to do, we focused on educating the students of these projects.
First step: We organized a painting competition for the first grade class. First, we gave them a speech about road safety and we shared our purpose in this project. Then we presented the painting contest that we were thinking about. We asked them to use their imaginations and draw the most useful car that they believed they could, a car which would be beneficial to reduce the rate of accidents. In other words we asked them to draw ‘the future car’. We encouraged them to do their best. We knew they would. We received so many wonderful paintings. We were more than pleased with the work. They were really inspiring and surprisingly very good. The children were also very happy with the results.
Second step: We prepared a traffic game in our traffic zone for the second graders. The best way to implement something learnt is to practice it. So we welcome you to our traffic simulation. First, we found the best place to implement our traffic simulation lessons, which happened to be in our school. Then we created an imaginary community which had markets, a bank, a cinema, a park and real people. During the simulation, we gave them tasks to accomplish in different locations, like getting the money from the bank to do the shopping in the supermarket. The traffic rules were monitored by the facilitators while the students were driving and using pedestrian crossings. The simulation was very efficient and beneficial. Actually, some of the students were really responsible about how to behave in traffic, even if they knew it was not real but just a simulation.
Third step: We made a presentation to eighth graders about road safety.When it came to doing an activity with older students, we thought that a more academic event would be more beneficial and efficient. Older students are a lot more aware of the fact that road safety is a serious topic. So we needed to make a more serious event so that they could remember how important it is. We prepared a presentation for them with the content of risk behaviors and their prevention. Also, we wanted to see if they knew the traffic signs or not. So we added a little game at the end of the presentation. The presentation itself was a success. But sadly, the mini game was a failure. We saw that most of the students didn’t know the traffic signs. So we decided to put traffic sign stickers on the food that was sold in the canteen to teach kids the traffic signs and their meaning. Without any doubt, this was the most effective way to teach them traffic signs and how important they are.
Fourth step: We arranged a poster contest for ninth grade students. We knew that our 9th graders would be more aware of road safety. So we wanted them to share their knowledge with the whole school by making a poster about it. The main task that we gave them was to prepare a poster about risk behaviors and prevention. There were really great posters, emphasizing the key points very well. It was a very hard decision to choose the best five posters among all the posters that they had made. The first five places were rewarded with free movie tickets.
We prepared an exhibition for the whole school on the wall at the large entrance. We exhibited the paintings that 1st graders made and also the posters that 9th graders prepared.