During a LifeFlight visit to their school, fifth graders learned that a large number of LifeFlight patients are young people, and many of those injuries could have been prevented through use of helmets and seat belts.
The students decided to take action in the form of a service-learning project. Calling their project “Mission Possible: Agents of Change,” students set out to educate themselves and their peers about preventing injuries.
Working with LifeFlight team members, the students went on several field trips to meet with emergency responders and had numerous guest-speakers come to their classroom. To learn more about attitudes and behaviors regarding seat belt and helmet use, students developed and distributed a survey in five communities.
They graphed responses on wall-sized charts, assembled PowerPoint presentations, and videotaped interviews. Students presented their findings to the School Board, to area families at a public safety field day and at a local health fair, and to then-Governor Angus King.
The project’s positive effects continue to ripple outward. Two students from that class launched another helmet and seat belt safety project the following year. With school support, they researched and gave presentations to peers, and made a display for the State House. The curriculum developed is now being used in two other school systems where LifeFlight continues to work with students.