Pedestrian Safety for Students

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An Introduction and the Goals

This site is dedicated to Dr. Thomas Renshaw whose generosity and support guided me through this work and reminded me and my students to . . . “Never doubt that a small group of people can change the world, in fact it’s the only thing that ever has.” …… Margaret Mead

Introduction and Goals
Lesson 1:
Part 1
The N.Y. Times Article
Lesson 1:
Part 2
Dr. Renshaw's Presentation
Lesson 2: The Scientific Method
Lesson 3:
Our Research
Lesson 4: The Walkable Studies
Lesson 5: Collating the Data-Using Excel
Lesson 6:
Our Projects
Helpful Websites
A Brief Introduction:
I teach in the computer lab in a public elementary school in New York City. Early in this school year, I met with a fifth grade teacher to discuss ways we could begin to integrate technology into her curriculum and create a unit which had relevance to the students' lives. We wanted to create a unit that incorporated writing, math and technology skills. We decided upon a science unit on force and motion as our starting point. Our original idea was to use force and motion as a way to help students understand velocity and thus understand how to cross streets safely. We were excited by the possibilities of integrating math, science, writing and technology skills for the students. During the planning stage, we came across an article that had appeared in The New York Times, "Safety: Another Problem with Poverty." As often happens when one starts to do research on the Internet, one thing led to another. We realized that our unit could take on tremendous relevance for our students if we were willing to alter its direction. We did! What follows is a unit that none of us could have imagined when we began. It reminds us that when subjects of relevance are taught, anything can happen.

The Goals
For the Teacher:
Teach science in a socially relevant context.
2. Use scientific inquiry to raise the level of students’ awareness.
3. Use technology skills in the classroom including word processing, graphics and spread sheets.
4. Integrate critical thinking, math and writing.
5. Model ways we can use the world as our laboratory.
For the Students:
1. A rare opportunity to apply knowledge to a real situation.
2. A chance to empower students to make a difference.
3. Use information in a "real" way!
4. Integrate science, math, writing and critical thinking.
5. To save lives!! Help students internalize and integrate concepts and apply to their everyday experiences.
6. Appreciate the roles that many community people play in making the neighborhood safe.

The world is an exciting and challenging place for children.
Teaching critical thinking and the scientific method present a unique opportunity to address safety through the discipline of science. In science, students are taught the process of inquiry. We used the Internet to access amazing resources and to have direct contact with experts. This site provided my class with a great place to begin our search for information about making our school community safer for children. We were all amazed by the amount of information available.

This site, , provided us with information which validated concerns about safety in our own community. I suggest that you bookmark this site and refer your students to it when you begin your research. This site has good introductory information about Pedestrian Safety and Walking To School .