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NHTSA's Safety City

Name:NHTSA’s Safety City

Brief Description of the Site:
Sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (part of the U.S. Dept. of Transportation), this colorful and kid-friendly site is dedicated to teaching about the basics of safety, from always wearing a helmet for biking to wearing a seat belt in the car and being safe when exiting the school bus. The ‘hosts’ are Vince & Larry, the Crash-Test Dummies who have appeared in NHTSA campaigns. The site’s homepage depicts a colorful village. The “Research Laboratory†offers information on air bags, car seats, drinking and driving, etc. as well as an explanation of the crash tests. Clicking on the school bus graphic brings up a discussion of how to be safe on the school bus, a place where so many students spend a lot of time. Clicking on the ambulance brings up a page about Emergency Medical Service, including how to call for EMS help when necessary. A more ‘fun’ part of the site is “Larry’s Art Gallery†where students can create original artwork and Email the completed work for posting in the gallery. Another place where students can get involved is “Safety School†where they can take the Safety Challenge test and have their high scores posted. The Safety School also includes a Teachers’ Lounge with links for safety related lesson plans and other teacher materials.

How to use the site:
Start with the Teachers’ Lounge to obtain lesson plans that will help teach the topic of safety. Then plan to let students from third-grade and up explore the site, which is written in relatively simple terms (as always, preview first). The site is pitched to students, especially with its two interactive pages. It will also serve as an excellent discussion starter for safety-related units.