Posted by: csdailyblog | November 20, 2009

A LESSON FOR THE ROAD

As  Conserve students get ready to head out on the highway for their Thanksgiving break, the lessons don’t have to stop. “I figured that as many of our students return home and travel through cities,” says teacher Jeff Rennicke, “they, like all of us, would end up at one time or another stuck in traffic with nothing to do but stare at the bumper of the car in front of them.” That reality sparked an idea: study the power of bumper stickers as a tool for environmental communication. The class took a look at the history of the bumper sticker, what makes a good one, controversies that have been sparked by them, their humor, and the powerful demographic they can reach. “If a person is driving a car you know that they are 1) educated, 2) have sufficient income at least to keep a car running, 3) are over the age of 16, and, at least in traffic situations, are part of a captive audience that is looking for anything to pass the time. It is an advertiser’s dream,” Rennicke says. So in his Environmental Communication class students debated the power of the bumper sticker, looked at dozens of examples, and then designed bumper stickers of their own to reach that vast car-bound audience with a message important of their chosing. Then, they plastered them on the back of their teacher’s car to see how they would look. But, it didn’t end there. “It was part of their assignment,” their teacher told them, “to keep their eyes open for bumper stickers on their travels home for the holidays and  back. That way, the education doesn’t end when classes do, it goes on and on as they roll down the highway.” A lesson for the road.

(Post and photos contributed by Conserve School English Teacher Jeff Rennicke)

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