During the last three weeks of term 1,455 pupils from Swindon schools have found out what it takes to be a good citizen at Science Museum Swindon.
From the 25 June to the 13 July the Wiltshire Emergency services, organised by PC Robin Stannard, used the Science Museum to host Junior Good Citizens, a programme designed to make ten and eleven year olds more streetwise. The Year 6 pupil’s, from many of Swindon’s schools, spent a day in the Museum’s D4 hangar with the emergency services, taking part in a series of life like scenarios designed to increase their awareness of safety in the home, in public and personal safety.
The scheme focused on presenting impactive scenarios that challenge students to engage by presenting them with difficult or dangerous situations. This places them under pressure, in a controlled safe environment, to resolve a scenario using a degree of persistence and self-reliance that requires the use of good communication and interpersonal skills that help build a sense of self-esteem and personal well being. The thinking behind it is that by physically participating in scenarios, young people will remember more of the life skills displayed than they would if they simply had a talk from someone.
This year’s scenarios were presented by Swindon Borough Councils’ Environmental Health, Environmental Improvement, Road Safety and Trading Standards departments, with the Great Western Ambulance Service NHS Trust, Thamesdown Transport, Wiltshire Police and Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service also taking part.
The children had their eyes opened to stopping distances, in an exercise where they were challenged to place cones along a strip of the runway at a point where they thought a braking car would come to a halt. They were certainly surprised by the demonstration of the actual stopping distance as the speeding car skidded to a halt while the children watch from a safe distance.
Trading Standards mocked up a market stall full of fake merchandise to demonstrate how to spot imitation goods, Swindon Services were on hand to talk about recycling and the children were taught how to deal with strangers.
The three week programme provided a fantastic opportunity for students and teachers to engage with the emergency services in the spectacular backdrop of the Science Museum’s iconic objects.
As well as learning there was a competitive side to the event with schools scoring points for different elements of their performance. The winning team ‘Silver City’ from Wroughton Junior School amassed 79 points out of 80, including bonuses. Ferndale Junior School’s ‘Pink & Perky’ team came a close second with 78.5, whilst the third placed team ‘Fantastic Four’ from Grange Junior School were very close with 78.35 points.
Robin Stannard, Junior Good Citizen Scheme Coordinator said, “The event was focused on child safety issues in an attempt to try to reduce victims of accidents or incidents and equip the children with skills enabling them to recognise and avoid potentially life threatening dangers or to how to survive life threatening situations that they may become embroiled in as they move up into secondary education and are able to experience more individual freedom”.
Matt Moore, Community Engagement Officer at Science Museum Swindon said, “We are delighted to host Junior Good Citizens and work with the local community to make Swindon a better place to live in. The Science Museum is focused on helping future generations to succeed and Junior Good Citizens is a great example of this”.
For more information about the Science Museum in Swindon: www.voteinspired.org.uk