Focus group

On May 12, staff from the Roadway Safety Institute (RSI) and The Works Museum met with students from Bancroft Elementary, Minneapolis, as part of a development process for a roadway-safety-related museum exhibit. The students, in grades 4 and 5, participated in a focus group to help RSI staff understand students' experiences with and perspectives about safe travel. In particular, students discussed walking on and crossing streets. They shared stories about learning to cross streets, teaching younger family members about safety, near-collisions with cars, and safe biking.

Several themes emerged from the focus group. Most students learn safe road behavior at a young age, particularly from their parents and preschool teachers. Students were aware of times when they disregarded these lessons and made unsafe choices, such as "taking a risk" by crossing against a light. Students also spoke about the challenges of making split-second decisions such as deciding when it's safe to cross a street between oncoming cars.

Students' feedback will be used to develop an interactive museum exhibit that reinforces the safety lessons being taught at home and school. For instance, students might examine the science behind reaction time, distractions, or perceptions of distance and speed. This exhibit will be developed over the coming months, with of goal of having it displayed at The Works, a hands-on science and technology museum located in Bloomington, Minnesota, by the spring of 2016.