Camp Fury Delaware is not your typical summer camp; the 60 girls who attend spend their days preparing to fight fires, save lives and protect their communities. The three-day, two-night camp inspires the next generation of public safety and emergency professionals. Campers are introduced to female professionals like Elizabeth Schew, assistant chief fire Marshal of Chester County Department of Emergency Services. These professionals serve as counselors, trainers and role models for the young women in attendance.
Schew works with the girls to teach them about the science behind fire investigation. 2019 will mark Elizabeth’s third year as part of the program. During her first year, she gave a lecture about fire, but without visuals and a hands-on component, she felt that her students struggled to connect with the material.
In year two, Schew decided to expand her presentation. That’s when she discovered UL Xplorlabs™ and the Fire Forensics Module. She was able to adapt the classroom program to her students’ needs and used the Fire Triangle lesson to teach the girls about how fire behaves. She found that incorporating this interactive component into her lesson led to engaged and engrossed students. Building on her success, in her third year with Camp Fury Delaware, she will continue to use the Fire Triangle lesson.
“This is exactly why we designed UL Xplorlabs and the Fire Forensics module,” Dr. Kelly Keena, UL’s director of Education and Outreach, said. “We want to inspire the next generation of scientists, engineers and fire investigators. It’s very exciting for us that Elizabeth is able to reach so many students, and we are honored to be a part of it.”
When Schew isn’t volunteering with Camp Fury Delaware, she works with her community’s Youth Fire and Injury Reduction Education (Y-FIRE) program. The program works with youth with fire-setting behaviors, and their families, to teach them about fire safety and fire prevention. She plans to incorporate the Fire Forensics Module into this program as well. Teaching children about the science of fire and the science of safety makes them less likely to experiment with fire in an unsafe way. With a strong understanding of fire science, children are also more likely to adopt healthy fire safety behavior, such as appropriate fire use and using a fire escape plan.
“I’m really glad UL has come up with this module about fire investigation,” She said. “Fire investigation used to be an art form, but science is the true foundation. Historically, there haven’t been any science-based multimedia educational resources for students of any age range.”
Camp Fury Delaware isn’t the only program that engages firefighters and UL Xplorlabs. In Cobb County, Georgia, the Cobb County School District has joined forces with UL Xplorlabs, the Cobb County Fire Department and district science teachers to bring comprehensive fire safety programming to the classroom.
Both Xplorlabs and Camp Fury Delaware use meaningful scientific curriculum to inspire interest in public safety actions and careers for the next generation of professionals. As evidenced by the use of Camp Fury Delaware, UL Xplorlabs brings real-world problems into the classroom with a philosophy that provides resources to teachers with the understanding that teachers will make it their own in a way that works for them, their students and their classroom.
Learn more about the Fire Forensics Module here.