Magnox Grant

CX/11/47                             10 January 2012

Lockerbie Academy Partnership with Magnox Ltd and D&G Police completes Road Safety Project

Lockerbie Academy received £2,000 funding from Magnox Ltd Chapelcross to develop an innovative and novel approach to teaching mechanics to pupils. Usually students are taught about forces, speed, acceleration, and the link between them, through ideas which often have little relevance to everyday life and experience.


Lockerbie Academy has designed their mechanics topic around a Road Safety Project, covering all the requirements of Curriculum for Excellence and providing an enquiring and active way to learn.  Pupils learn about speed using model cars and equipment, then from measurements taken calculate speed, velocity and use literacy and numeracy skills as well as Health and Well Being to look at the influence and impact of speed in road traffic accidents.

Students learn more about stopping distances using the state of the art reaction timer purchased from the generous donation provided by Magnox Ltd, Chapelcross. This enables students to have a better understanding of how long it would take a car to stop depending on speed and road conditions. A game called “Chicken Run” devised by a S3 Physics group and their teacher, Mrs Physics, provides a practical investigation and demonstrates to students in a safe environment the effects of using mobile phones and being distracted whilst driving.  Students will also be given information about the Highway Code and road signs and then look further into the physics behind the signs.

The picture shows Caitlin Carruthers, Aaran Stevenson, Chapelcross Communications Manager Sean Marshall, Caitlin Kerr, Inspector Neil Hewitson and Craig Johnstone along with some of the new resources used in the Road Safety project.

Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary’s Inspector Neil Hewitson has also been heavily involved in developing the materials and has provided the school with some additional PSHE (Personal Social Health and Education) literature for students. These materials deal with dangers of driving, being a passenger or pedestrian and effects such as alcohol and the use of mobile phones on driver’s abilities to function at the correct level. From this a further project developed, where a trained police crash test investigator came out to talk to the Higher Physics class on the use of Physics in crash test investigations and gave the students first hand examples of how the pieces of a crash are put together to determine the cause and blame of any incident. The students really gained so much from this experience.

Mrs Physics said “It has been really exciting putting this project together as it really focuses on the Physics and yet also gives us the opportunity to raise areas of real concern and addresses road safety, a major killer of young people aged 17-25. It has been wonderful to work with people from Magnox who have had a great background and focus on safety, as well as Dumfries and Galloway Police and Alan Jabez of motoring who also kindly provided resources for the project.  The project has the potential to be rolled out across other secondary schools in Dumfries & Galloway.”

Jill Callander, Communications Officer MAGNOX


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