Children go ‘mad’ for new safety campaign

Release Date: 12-Feb-2009
Kirklees school children helped launch a major life-saving campaign this week.
Children learning first hand about the science of carbon monoxide

Children learning first hand about the science of carbon monoxide

The children from Christ Church Woodhouse School in Huddersfield all took part in a new project aimed at teaching youngsters about the dangers of carbon monoxide (CO).

The launch was timed to coincide with the fifth anniversary of the death of 10-year-old Dominic Rodgers, a pupil at the school, who died when poisonous fumes from a neighbour’s faulty boiler seeped into his bedroom.

The schools project takes the form of interactive science workshops and special assemblies and is the latest phase of a campaign organised by the Kirklees Carbon Monoxide Awareness Group (KCOAG), which is led by staff from KNH and Dominic’s mum, Stacey.

The programme has been developed in partnership with Mad Science of Yorkshire and Humber. The Mad Science Group is the world’s leading provider of science enrichment for children.

The 30-minute workshop includes interactive quizzes, several noisy demonstrations, and opportunities for the children to join the Mad Scientists on stage. It ends with a quick test to see how much the children have taken on board.

Stacey Rodgers said: “Since I lost my Dominic, I’ve been working to raise awareness about the dangers of this deadly gas.

“For the past few months, KCOAG has been looking at how we could get the message out to children so that they’d understand but not be frightened and learn something they’d remember for the rest of their lives.

“The Mad Science approach is fantastic and does everything we wanted it to – and I’m really proud that we could launch it at Dom’s school on his anniversary.”

Jennifer Davies, the head teacher at Christ Church Woodhouse agreed. “I think it’s so appropriate that the carbon monoxide schools project has been launched here. It’s a wonderful way to remember Dominic and a real lasting legacy.

“The children really enjoyed the science assembly – they’ve learned very valuable information in a fun and accessible way and they’ll take the important message about gas safety home to their parents.”

Julia Hatton and Hani Okoroafor from Mad Science of Yorkshire & Humber, said: “We’re very excited to be working in partnership with KCOAG to promote a cause as worthy as the CO awareness programme.

“We’re delighted that they recognised that the unique Mad Science methodology of combining fun and learning could help accomplish their objective of making children more aware of CO poisoning and what can be done to prevent it.”

The Mad Science sessions are being piloted in 50 primary schools across Kirklees and can then be rolled out nationally via the Mad Science network.

The project is supported by CORGI, the gas industry watchdog, and has been made possible by the generous support of the CORGI Trust, Northern Gas Networks, Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing, Kirklees Council and the Sadeh Lok Housing Group.