It was hard to tell which part of the morning was more exciting for students at Aurora’s Fletcher Elementary School – getting a new bike helmet or watching a coconut explode as part of a demonstration about what could happen to your head if you fall off your bike, hit the ground and aren’t wearing a helmet.
The educational session and helmet giveaway was the idea of fourth-year CU School of Medicine student Corey Dobson. He tapped his friends in the Gold Humanism Honor Society, a peer-nominated service-oriented group, and they went classroom-to-classroom stressing the benefits of wearing helmets and showing the youngsters, grades K-3, that helmets really are ‘cool.’
“One of the biggest barriers to kids wearing helmets is they think its uncool,” said Dobson. “Today is about breaking down that and other barriers and doing what we can to help the student understand the importance of wearing helmets.”
School Principal Jennifer Kimpson said the visit from students with the health sciences programs at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus made an impact.
“Today was not just a group coming to school and giving away helmets,” she said. “Our students were given a great opportunity to learn the importance of helmet and bike safety.”
As part of the lesson, a weight was dropped about three feet through a pipe and onto a coconut –so the elementary students could see the impact of a falling weight. The kids quickly saw from the cracks in the coconut what the potential for injury to their heads could be. Kimpson said 85 percent of the time when she sees the kids on bicycles, they aren’t wearing helmets. After today’s giveaway, that’s likely to change.