The Your Ideas Your Initiatives challenge was a catapult! After a motion of applause from the city council and the mayor's interest in transforming our project into a draft bill, we realized that we do not have to change the world - we have to act.
The investigations and survey of the most serious problems to be worked out were quickly raised. We separated by themes and each student looked at factors that affected Bauru's traffic.
While the 9th grade students researched the existing programs of the municipal spheres and the major problems of Bauru, we in the 1st year of high school selected the ideas that could turn into initiatives, while the 2nd and 3rd year students began the preparation of the materials. "All the observations converged to focus on pedestrians and cell phone use in traffic, so we decided that our actions would concern the school’s pedestrians and school environment, which would benefit a huge number of people."
As in the previous editions, a survey was carried out as research that aimed to understand if our drivers were aware of their role. The third year high school students thought to do research in the form of an interview where the students would question parents about their conduct in traffic. Students who returned with the interview and participated in the research competed for a T-shirt about the project. Four students were awarded (Kindergarten, Elementary School I, Elementary School II and High School).
1 - We worked on the ideas and on the execution of the project. We built a duplicated road with pedestrian lanes to train about the importance of paying attention while crossing. We applied a dynamic with the classes so that they could understand how the dynamics of streets and cars work and how they should behave.
2- We invited EMDURB, who promptly attended us and presented puppets to the kindergarten children, and with them the students learned about the traffic lights and how to cross the street.
3- The students created a blog (http://projeto-help.weebly.com/blog) and associated the design with “Yellow May”. The initiative was also extended to Facebook; the page was opened by the student team to bring the debate on traffic to social media.
4 – The PRINCIPIA (An annual math contest in our school) started by launching the challenges created by the students:
Petition: The class with the highest number of signatures filed its score in the contest.
Mascot: The best mascot became this year's version of the contest image and would represent the theme.
5 - As a result of the challenge, all the students of the high school and elementary school II mobilized and they approached the community individually and as a group, involving families and friends. They worked in groups at the supermarket, at English schools, and they approached passersby to collect signatures. This promoted great discussion on the subject because people approached by the students commented on the project and its importance. This movement, which has involved society, has shown us that good intentions and initiatives promote a connection with the community by creating an atmosphere that unites everyone for a common benefit.
6- We worked in the classroom on the subject of traffic in various ways: In physics, the high school students and later year elementary school II students created a reaction test where they performed a calculation to stipulate the level of risk when using a cell phone while driving. It was surprising to realize that a few seconds on a cell phone can consume the attention of the driver and that means meters driven without the necessary attention.
7- As a result of the slogan contest, the best phrases were used in the campaign; it was very good writing the sentences of friends that we could then see displayed around our school.
8- Turning popular songs into a traffic safety theme was fun! In addition to being smart, the versions are entertaining and when presented in different situations they draw attention because of their creativity. The video productions of the clips will be available on YouTube, on the blog and on the school website.
9- On April 30th, we performed Batista’s Blitz in Getúlio ( Bauru´s main avenue). We not only approached passers-by but we had prepared folders where we talked about the project and the importance of individual responsibility for the safety of the group. With the survey of drivers’ behavior in the streets around the school and the result of the survey carried out in the previous edition, we found that the biggest problem still lies in the lack of awareness of most drivers, who do not really believe that their attitudes influence traffic. So we highlighted the main infractions in the folders, warning about the attitudes regarding traffic signs. On the back, we dealt with one of the focuses of the project: the use of the mobile phones, and we spoke about the reaction test that proves the impact that this habit promotes.
In addition to the signatures already collected by the students, Blitz added 7,749 signatures. The main purpose of this idea in action was to invite the public to participate in the responsibility of committing themselves to the safety of commuters around the school, with everyone joining forces to ensure continuous safety in transit!
10- Research was carried out where questions were thought up by the students of the high school, so all the school’s students could perform an interview with parents on how they behaved in traffic. With the information collected, the students themselves compiled the answers and carried out a data collection on risk behavior in traffic; it will be presented later in our monthly religious meeting by high school students to the other students and in a parent meeting on the importance of a responsible attitude in traffic.
11- A “Traffic Stop” was carried out around the school (three stops in three distinct streets) where it was possible to carry out all the ideas of the class. Some students sang the parody while another group held the banners with the slogans, and others approached drivers asking for more solidarity with pedestrians. The school received a lot of feedback - including from public beyond the school’s parents - praising the work, and the movement gained a lot of attention from the community. And, on that same day, as a result of our request to EMDURB, all the signaling of the school’s surroundings was revitalized.
Our ideas and initiatives of this edition have given us the opportunity not only to be a supporting part of a competition but also protagonists of our initiatives. From the student who knew how to write well, the student who drew well, to the one with great knowledge of physics - all the students contributed - by collecting signatures, singing in the street to collecting trash in the art room. And all of them believed what really mattered: the importance of ensuring greater safety!
A phrase that was said around school which motivated us all to participate: If all these ideas and actions can prevent just one accident and save the life of one child, it will have been enough! Because, the world changes when we change one world at a time!
This entire project not only responds to the expectations of the contest: our participation as students meet the call of our school to work with our critical senses, our actions and citizenship. We are aware that in order to make a difference we have to act differently, so we give a lot of our free time and time during other school didactic activities in order to unite our energy and creativity in favor of a safer, less insecure traffic situation.
Today, after two years of our involvement in this project, we are not only individuals who use the streets; we are passers-by citizens, aware that for safety in transit it is necessary that responsibility be the fuel of citizenship!
Our goal as students was to assume our leading role in this project and discover the strength of our ideas and the impact of our initiatives in society. After a motion of applause by the City Council and the interest of the Mayor Clodoaldo Gazzetta in transforming our project into a city law, we realize that we do not have to change the world, we only have to act within our reality and this in itself will transform the world of many people!