We, as a team, would like to save lives. We tried to create an awareness campaign in our middle school (for 325 students) for two main ideas: road safety for pedestrians and responsible behaviors while riding a bicycle.
We are members of Research and Project Group (RPG) in our school. We were invited to participate in the YIYI competition. At the beginning of this year, we, three of us, made up the team to create a safer environment in our neighborhood. We call the team «Dare to Save Lives: Our ideas, Our initiatives ».
How did we identify our problems?
- We organized field trips, made observations around our neighborhood and took notes about actions of vehicles and pedestrians.
- A traffic police officer both taught us some traffic laws and helped us to identify problems around our school.
- We did researches and read lots of different governmental sources before defining our main problems and possible solutions.
How did we justify the relevance in our community?
- We collaborated with «The Art of Thinking» elective course students and they interviewed people face-to-face and shared the public opinion with us.
- We got our audience’s pre-results to learn their needs, interests and background knowledge via online questionnaire.
How about The Online Questionnaire via Socrative?
- We created a questionnaire which aim was to learn the level of interests and awareness on riding a bicycle safely of 325 students (18 classes) in our middle school. In March, they filled the pre-tests without knowing anything about YIYI and our Project. The sample were made of 50,4% males and 49,6% females.
- Socrative is a web-based assessment tool. It conducted our multiple choice questionnaire that has three parts (the description of the sample, the interests and awareness on riding of students and the knowledge on the meaning of some traffic signs). Students answered 23 questions online with their tablets in Turkish, science and social classes with their teachers’ support.
- We could get and analyze the results on excel document. These showed us that we should focus on the safety of riding a bicycle.
- 70% of students have a bicycle. We discovered that gr5 ride more often than gr7. Most of them learnt riding a cycle between 0-8 aged. Most students prefer cycling for fun, sport and transportation. They mostly ride a bicycle in facility area, beach, green area and bicycle path around their home rather than in car traffic. They think that the best things about cycling are to make them feeling better; it is fast and healthy. Also, gr7 students are aware that it is also a antipollutionist. Although the rate of bicycle accidents they had so far has been decreasing when they grow up, they don’t wear the helmet. The main reason of their accidents are speed, vacuity and technical problems.
After doing our research we decided that our actions would focus on two main areas: road safety for pedestrians and responsible behaviors while riding a bicycle.
Initiatives of IDEA-1: ROAD SAFETY
1) Paving the sidewalk near our school: We contacted Sarıyer Municipality to pave the street of our school and we achieved it.
2) Collaborating with the municipality to learn the need of traffic signs in neighborhood: We communicated with İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality. We asked them to share the need of traffic signs in our neighborhood. We had a field trip to investigate and they both showed and taught where they placed 7 new signs on Bahcekoy Street.
3) Field research with a traffic policeman: Using the information we got with our research with him, we prepared a presentation held separately for each grade (325 people) to teach traffic rules about crosswalk, the speed limits, bicycle paths, traffic signs, right-of-way in assembly hall.
4) Creating «Safe Roads Photography Section» in the Art Exhibition: We collaborated with the students of photography class. Aimed at taking pictures of the cars in our neighborhood that have the speed above the limit to create an awareness on safety.
Initiatives of IDEA-2: RESPONSIBLE BEHAVIORS:
1) Making presentations to teach traffic signs: We prepared the different presentations for each grade students. This helped us to increase their awareness and teach about the traffic signs. All changes are positive.
2) Inviting professional cyclists to teach the importance of the helmet use: We invited Cyclist Transport Platform and Professional cyclists to our school for 325 students. We designed special posters for these events to create awareness in our school. Students learnt the importance of helmet use, rules, the bicycle fests, competitions, other countries’ bicycle culture, accessories needed for safety on three different days.
3) Implementing online questionnaire: In May, they answered the single response post-test on Socrative after listening our presentations and cyclists’ training. We compared all grades’ results separately on excel. Post-test only assessed the knowledge-based questions related to the meaning of the signs and their behaviors. The results show us that all initiatives worked for enhancing their awareness and learning. The highest changes happened with gr7 students.
4) Creating social media platforms: In order to reach more people and share what we have done, we were on Instagram. Our speakers also shared our posts and this made our work visible to others.
5) Relating gr5 Turkish class reader book of Time Bicycle to our Project: gr5 students read the book in Turkish class. After reading that book, in order to internalize the idea of safe cycling, they came up with their imaginary bicycle made of junk materials. This display had a huge impact on their creativity and helped the school environment give attention to safe cycling.
You can visit our instagram page, watch our video on youtube, see questionnaire results, look at our pictures and read YIYI all process pdf to acknowledge the details of our ideas and initiatives.