2010 - Road Safety Workshop - Tyumen - Feb 13
A Workshop in Tyumen teaches the fundamentals of road safety, One Step at a Time
February 2010 [Tyumen, Russia]
By Mrs. Lyudmila Feodorovna Chernukhina, High School #25
My name is Lyudmila Feodorovna Chernukhina, and I am the Russian language and literature teacher at High School #25 in Tyumen, Russia.
Our high school was the 14th school in Russia to join SEED’s global community in 2007. Connectivity grant funds went to the purchase of PCs for the computer lab and the school library and the Internet connection. In addition, program participants gained access to the science, art, and culture-related articles found within SEED’s Online Science Center. The Archimedes lab kit, which enriches one's knowledge about the world and the universe, was also a component of the grant and is currently used for physics class experiments.
The objectives for a successful workshop as presented in the Creative Workshops Guide include: to encourage creativity in the fields of science and technology; to cultivate scientific and nature-minded thinking in young participants; and to enhance practical communication skills that enable students to expand creative ideas. Prior to our workshop in February 2010, our staff reflected on these ideas while keeping in mind the tenets of SEED’s learning while doing (LWD) philosophy.
In English, the word "seed" means a plant's grain and a source of development or growth. To me, this highlights the concept that everything big starts small. In the beginning, our teachers and students participated in SEED workshops in Novosibirsk, Irkutsk and Krasnoyarsk. After experiencing these international workshops, we organized our own school workshops in Tyumen. And they started off very well! Moreover, we enjoyed them and became addicted to them.
Now young inventors come up with original project ideas that become the foundation for new models and devices and then they share their results with other schools and workshop guests. Thanks to the collaborative spirit among students, their parents, teachers, and council members, some incredible projects came out of the workshops--from architectural designs of new generation castles to "green" cars and energy-efficient buildings; from smart and space-conscious backyards to power plants. The news of successful project-focused workshops spread quickly in the region, sparking interest in SEED among local schools and education institutions. As a result, we decided to share once again our experience and knowledge of the project-focused education with other enthusiasts in town--High Schools # 31, #91 and #68-- and the Moskovskaya City High School in the Tyumen area. This endeavor became our new big success story. Competitiveness, ingenuity, mutual support, and collaboration between children and adults, students and scientists produced outstanding designs of improved vehicles and various road devices introducing a more imaginative concept of safety to all of those who are on the road.
Inspired by SEED experience, Tyumen HS #25 hosted the VII Learning While Doing Workshop on February 13, 2010. Special guests and jurors included Mrs. Gnousaryova, Tyumen Education Board Vice Chair; Dr. Schmidtbersky and Dr. Logachyov, Doctors of Science (PhD); Mr. Alexey Pakhomov, the QHSE representative from Schlumberger; and Mr. Mostovschikov, a member of the local parents committee. The workshop focused on road safety, and brought together students, parents and teachers from several local high schools, plus PhD students from the Tyumen State University and Tyumen State Oil and Gas University, as well as local businessmen and Schlumberger volunteers.
The workshop's theme was chosen for a reason. According to the Russian Federal Authority for Road Traffic Safety, approximately 26,000 people die and 200,000 become disabled in accidents in our country every year. About 15% of all accidents occur due to traffic violations. The numbers speak for themselves.
Road-related injuries cause high mortality among children and youth, contributing to the rapidly declining population growth rate in Russia. Taking into account all these factors and figures, the participants and special guests alike were thrilled to see improved road safety technologies presented by the young scientists from two high school teams.
Students from High School #25 pursued the idea of a safe crossing project. Students studied the pedestrian crossings near their own school at the Pervomayskaya, Volodarskaya and Khohryakova Streets. Guided by their supervising teachers Mrs. Pashneva and Mrs. Neganova, the inventors built a model of a safe road-crossing operated by a sophisticated movement monitoring sensor. When people are about to cross the road, the sensor turns on a blinking light that warns the incoming traffic of pedestrians on the road. Students also created an original traffic light that is capable of halting vehicles before they run the red light. These smart traffic lights contain chips that send a signal to upcoming cars, equipped with twin chips that receive the signal and switch off car engines when the light turns yellow or red.
The team from High School #68, headed by Mr. Bobilyov, offered an innovative measure to end traffic accidents in their school crossing area. Students suggested to use a layer of studs, implanted in the road crossing section, that automatically extend when the light turns yellow or red bringing the incoming traffic to a complete stop. When the light changes to green, the studs recede and cars continue travelling. Violators, logically, would incur a material loss. This crossing layout is believed to prevent numerous accidents. And, according to its masterminds, it is also cost efficient.
Project presentations sparked debates from the audience. Everybody had something to say. Mr. Nemchinov, Principal of High School 25, led the discussion by highlighting the pros and cons of each model. Young inventors faced a barrage of questions but they were able to answer all of them. Moreover, they did it with confidence. The goal was to make students think, generate stimulating ideas, plan and materialize exciting projects, keep up with the technology, and stay connected with the world of science. Needless to say, the young people from Tyumen's two high schools demonstrated these indispensable skills. Every participant brought home a SEED workshop certificate, a souvenir, and a new set of knowledge. Let's hope their projects attract attention from the public and generate excitement outside the school walls.
We are steps away from a major milestone. We've already harvested a new crop of ideas and have put together mockups of tangible solutions. Today we are within centimeters of making our road safety models fully functional, which is possible through research, study, and lots of legwork to achieve what we envision. Yet the initials steps have been already taken.
SEED thanks the most gracious High School #25 staff for taking care of logistics, participating in the workshop, and generating amazing ideas for amazing projects.
More articles on Road Safety can be found in SEED's feature Staying Safe on the Road.