Pedestrian Safety for Students

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Lesson 3: A doctor's presentation changed the direction of our work.
Our Own Research

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 Web Sites

I used the Internet to continue to search for information about pedestrian safety. Using e-mail, I was beginning to make contacts with people who were seriously involved in the safety of children. I found that by simply stating that I was a teacher in New York City who was interested in putting together a unit for my students, the "experts" were happy to help me. Responses from these experts were amazingly detailed. I don't know who was more excited by the contacts; my students or me! (note: Because there are rules in my district concerning student use of e-mail, I took on the responsibility of writing to the "experts".)

Hello again-
Here is some really good information. If you contact K.S.H.
Associate Director, Child Advocacy
National Association of Children's Hospitals and Related Institutions
401 Wythe Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 684-1355 x 7035
She is a terrific resource for street safety information. I told her of your interest and she is expecting to hear from you. You won't be disappointed. I don't really have a Web Sites worth linking, but be sure to contact B.B. M.D. the pediatric trauma surgeon at Harlem Hospital and she'll also be invaluable. Keep up the good work. This stuff
takes on a life of its own..............TSR

Other Communications looked like this:
Students used disposable cameras to take pictures of places in the neighborhood they considered dangerous. We went on neighborhood walks.

We interviewed two neighborhood experts; the school crossing guard and a school safety officer.
I provided my students with a paper list of Web Sites which I thought would be most useful. There was room on this paper for the students to take notes. I gave them three class periods to work independently or with a partner to get a sense of the information which is available. We were looking for information that would help us to make our school community safer. The List included: (This site addresses many child safety issues.) (This site claims to be the most comprehensive child safety site on the Internet. It may be!) (Great background information on Pedestrian safety.) (This site has activities online as well as ready-made materials teachers can order for nominal fees.) (Maintained by the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center. This site proved to be an excellent resource. It includes, among other things, The Walkable Checklist which guided our early research.)

As we searched, there was on-going discussion and sharing of information. We then decided what information was important and would be the most helpful to us. The Walkable Checklist I downloaded for the next session, Lesson 4, helped us to analyze our own community. The pedestrian safety section of the website, supported the facts we were beginning to gather. "Pedestrian injury remains the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related death among children ages 5 to 14. Data from the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration (NHTSA) indicate that 25 percent of children between ages 5 and 9 who were killed in traffic accidents in 1998 were pedestrians. These facts underline the importance of teaching safe pedestrian skills to our children."

Crossing the Street
This site also provided us with valuable information about Rules of safety for your child when walking and crossing the street. We also found the information about Walking to School useful. "With responsible adult supervision, children can enjoy walking to and from school." The "Walk to School Initiatives Booklet" on the website is great. (Click on the resource link).
HINT: We had a very limited amount of time for the collection of information. I tried to keep the students focused on the immediate task at hand; ways to make our neighborhood a safer place for pedestrians. This was not always simple. The amount of information available on the Internet is amazing! We had to constantly remind ourselves that though we had a time frame for the unit, this idea would continue to be a work in progress.