Over the next month we are inviting 16 classrooms to act as consultants to the Crosswalk Company. The Crosswalk Company was founded by three grade 6 changemakers: Quinlan Birmingham, Oliver Wong, and Arnav Shah, at Northlea EMS in the Toronto District School Board. Their mission is to help pedestrians stay visible at intersections by using flags to make drivers more aware. They started in the summer of 2017 with one intersection and have expanded their flag system to six intersections.  

 Quinlan, Oliver, and Arnav in front of Northlea EMS.

Quinlan, Oliver, and Arnav in front of Northlea EMS.

If you and your students participate in the challenge, you will launch the challenge with a video from the Crosswalk Company and use Integrative Thinking to create recommendations. Students will share their recommendations in short videos and a group of 5-8 students from each class will come to the Rotman School of Management on May 17th, 2018 from 8:15am to 11:30am for a science-fair style showcase. 

I-Think, with the generous partnership of Ashoka Canada, brings you The Crosswalk Company Challenge, a challenge that is relevant to every school and community.

Together we can increase pedestrian safety across the GTA


Application:

We are able to sponsor 16 classrooms. We are looking for diversity across geography and grade levels. All classrooms must have used Integrative Thinking in some capacity to qualify. Applications accepted Thursday, March 29th, 2018 through Thursday, April 5th, 2018 at 11:59pm. 

 

Timeline:

  • March 29th to April 5th      Applications open 
  • April 9th                                Classrooms are informed about their participation 
  • April 10th to May 10th       Crosswalk Challenge in classrooms
  • May 17th                               Showcase at Rotman School of Management

The Crosswalk Company has identified two challenges that they want your students to give them insight on: 

Grades 5-8 Challenge: How might each intersection be maintained through building community engagement?

The Crosswalk Company has had to maintain the intersections to ensure that the canisters are mounted securely, there are enough flags and the signage is accessible by all pedestrians.  

Grades 1-4 Challenge: How might we reduce flag theft?

At certain crosswalks, flags have gone missing especially at intersections that are further from the school.  The Crosswalk Company has removed flags on Friday and returned them on Sunday but that doesn’t improve pedestrian safety on the weekend.  

Who can participate in the challenge?

Teachers from grades 1-8 who have had experience using Integrative Thinking in their classrooms.  They can collaborate with other teachers in their school or they can collaborate with teachers in another school.

What materials will I get?

You will get a set of resources to launch the challenge and all of the materials needed to set up a Crosswalk Company intersection (i.e. flags, PVC flag holders, zip ties, instructions). The challenge resources will include a video of the Crosswalk Company talking about the challenge, benefit bubbles, and a lesson plan. 

Is there a set amount of time that I need to spend on The Crosswalk Company Challenge?

The amount of time that you spend from April 10th to May 10th on the challenge is up to you.  There are literacy and numeracy connections embedded within the challenge. Please set aside time for your students to to create a culmination video that shares your students' thinking and insights. 

How can we communicate with the founders of the Crosswalk Company if we have any questions?

Arnav, Oliver and Quinlan will be holding ‘office hours’ via Google Hangout. Classrooms will have the opportunity to register for a session.

What if we want to take part in the challenge but cannot do the challenge during the timeline (April 9th – May 17th)?

You can purchase a kit ($225) and complete the challenge on your own time. Please email I-Think@rotman.utoronto.ca if you want to go this route. 

What will we need to do for the challenge?

Using opposable models, students and teachers will need to explore the tensions of their challenge to create a better solution.  You will need to create a 2 minute video of your classroom process to share and inspire others.  You will need to collect data about the flag usage at your crosswalk as a part of the empathy-building experience. 

When will I find out if my class has been selected?

Monday, April 9th.