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MAS class project blossoms into bicycle safety Web site for Riley Hospital

August 26, 2009

When Dr. Karen Stroup, IU School of Medicine, and Janet Everly, IU School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences visited Edgar Huang’s Media Arts and Science class last year, they arrived with an idea for a Web site.  The duo left having planted a seed that eventually blossomed into a high profile offering by Riley Hospital for Children.

Stroup and Everly were interested in creating a Web site that would teach teens and college students how to develop a bicycle safety course in their communities.  Julie Andrews, a student in Huang’s class took on the assignment.  Working with four graduate students in the IU Department of Occupational Therapy, and others, the team created a prototype for the Racing for Safety Web site.  After some additional refinements, the Racing for Safety Web site was officially launched this month.  It is a featured item on Riley Hospital’s Web home page.

"This partnership united student talent and resources of the IU School of Informatics and Computing, the IU School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, and Riley Hospital, a part of the IU School of Medicine," explained Dr. Stroup.  "Graduate students from the IU Department of Occupational Therapy and an undergraduate student from the IU School of Informatics and Computing worked together as part of respective course requirements to develop the prototype."

The Racing for Safety Web site was produced as a Web-based tool for teens and college age students engaged in community service and service learning to help prevent and reduce bike-related injuries and fatalities to children and to demonstrate that safety is for kids who use all kinds of wheels.

Huang, associate professor, IU School of Informatics and Computing at IUPUI, has long encouraged students to become engaged in community service projects.

"Service learning is a central focus of IUPUI’s mission," explained Huang, who serves as a faculty representative for the campus’ service learning initiatives. "I am very proud of my student Julie Andrews and all others who assisted in development of the Racing for Safety Web site."

The Web site provides the tools and resources needed for teens and college age students to plan and present a bike safety course for all children of all abilities using all kinds of wheeled vehicles, including bikes, adapted bikes, wheelchairs, scooters, skateboards, and rollerblades. Adult advocates for child safety and injury prevention interested in presenting a bike safe course in their community also would find the Web site to be a helpful resource and reference.

"Dr. Huang and Riley Hospital Community Education and Child Advocacy have worked together for several years in a creative partnership that nurtures frequent exchanges of ideas and possibilities," said Stroup.

Such collaborations are prime examples of why service learning is a powerful tool for higher education, said Huang. 

Other partners in the collaboration include the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Productions, and the Think First National Injury Prevention Foundation.


Media Contact

Joanne Lovrinic