We, 11th graders at Montessori school in Medellín, developed a project established by challenge based learning, aiming at parents, students and school staff with the objective of raising awareness on three risk behaviors: the use of cell phone while driving, the excess of speed around and in the school and the misuse of seatbelt.
Every year, we make a project about road safety in order to improve and guarantee better conditions for all the community. One of the problems that we identify each year is mobility. The school has a lot of problems about mobility because the street around is narrow and small. This year, we also identified this problem so we decided to look for more information about structural changes that the local government had in the agenda, namely building and extending streets around the school. This is a project that is going to solve mobility problem so we decided to focus on other problems around and in the school. That is why we took the decision to begin some research in order to identify how we could help all the community to improve road safety and avoid accidents.
We decided to begin with some observations for identifying behaviors that could put at risk students, parents and employees. We realized that there were a lot of actions and behaviors that were underestimated, that were left aside and that could be as dangerous and annoying as the mobility problem.
After two weeks of observations, we discussed our perceptions and we chose three risk behaviors than endanger road safety: the cell phone use while driving, the speed around and in the school and the seat belt use, firstly at the back seats.
We decided to focus on three targets: students, parents and employees and, firstly, we create different surveys aiming each group in order to assess their knowledge, attitudes and habits regarding those behaviors.
The survey created for parents had as objective to identify how much they knew about speed rules, cell phone devices and seat belt maintenance and rules in order to protect themselves and their children.
The survey created for students had as objective to know how they get around to come to school and how they move inside the school (elevators, stairs, if they run or walk, in what way). Also, we wanted to know their own and their parents' habits regarding the use cell phones, seat belt and how the behaviors of their parents as drivers.
After having analyzed surveys we found out that the school community needed some instruction because they were unaware of information that was helpful and important in order to change some habits and practices that are dangerous and can affect road safety.
We decided to create some advertising, conferences, games and videos in order to inform and give the community some tools that could improve road safety.
With the pandemic and the confinement we had to change some activities that we wanted to take place face-to-face and adapt them to virtual ways of communication.
To reach our three target publics, we organized ourselves in groups of three or four and each group defined a detailed action plan to be carried out. The proposed actions were diverse and allowed us to put in practice our own abilities and skills.
Our objectives were to sensitize school staff on three specific topics related to safety in the road; regulation of speed, drive while using the cellphone and the usage of the seatbelt, and also to develop their consciousness about their actions when entering the school by car or any other vehicle. We created videos, one more funny to catch their attention and the other more shocking to emphasize the drastic consequences of not following the traffic rules. Also we made some advertising posters and Powerpoint presentation with audio to share our messages.
We created a video (a virtual conference) in order to show the result of the survey and give some information about the speed allowed around and in the school and the seat belt use especially at the back. We also prepared a PowToon video and some advertising posters to inform parents about devices that can be used to avoid using the cell phone while driving.
With the results of our survey, we realized that we had to propose some activities in order to make children and young people aware of the different factors that impact mobility inside and outside the school. Our activities were designed to respond to specific problems according to each age group.
For children, the activities were focused on wearing the seatbelt as well as the importance of having the laces always fastened, avoiding walking with busy hands, walking on the right side or running while eating. Activities such as watching videos and coloring activities were offered and we created online games to attract the little ones’ attention and make them aware in a funny way.
For teens, the activities included critical analysis of videos, shocking advertising campaigns and modern songs of popular singers and we also created online games to make them more reflexive and attentive on the road.