Models |East Campus Muscatine High School

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Muscatine, IA

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Students at East Campus Muscatine High School are in the process of developing a bike library. The library will be available to any member of the Muscatine community who is interested in using a bicycle for transportation. The bike library will make low-cost transportation more accessible, provide opportunity for aerobic exercise, combat depression, and add a big city feel to Muscatine.

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A bike library is a place where individuals can check out or rent bikes (currently a consideration under construction within our developing plans). It might sound illogical that all of the above problems can be addressed with biking, but ironically, biking has proven effective in the rejuvenation of both large and small cities across the United States. The book Bikenomics focuses on this very concept. Bikes can generate revenue while saving personal expenses, leading to a number of diverse benefits. There is a return to biking for many reasons: emotional and physical health, personal and community wealth, community connectedness, environmental benefits, and even memory and intelligence. To provide a clearer picture, below are some of the basic facts students explored:

  • Biking and aerobic exercise increases gray matter, affecting memory
  • Twenty minutes of pedaling will improve test scores.
  • Pedaling produces the feel-good chemicals serotonin and dopamine, making the rider happier.
  • If everyone gave up their car one day a week and replaced it with a 4-mile bike ride, the U.S would save billions of dollars in gas.
  • Riding a bike costs approximately $300 per year versus the $8,000 per year it costs to drive a car.
  • Changing the city center of smaller cities to look like those of big cities will encourage Millennials to stay in smaller towns. Typically big cities include bike paths for better walkability, making bike-friendly cities, small and large, an attraction to many Millenials.
  • As a result of designing and implementing bike-friendly resources, Portland, Oregon; Detroit, Michigan; Bolder, Colorado; and the entire state of Wisconsin have shown evidence of considerable economic growth.
  • Encouraging biking and providing bike-friendly resources stimulates tourism, which in turn stimulates revenue. Muscatine is scattered with beautiful bike paths, but they lack some continuity. With promise, planners in Muscatine are designing new and extended bike paths. They feel their vision will enhance this concept as the physical presence of a bike library will offer a daily snapshot of awareness, and more importantly its accessibility will help encourage biking within Muscatine. The promotion of biking must be front and center in this process. Not only will they create a bike library, they plan to use the bike library to promote biking events.

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Civic Responsibility
Understand the rights and responsibilities of each citizen and demonstrate the value of lifelong civic action
Understand the differences among the complex levels of local, state and national government and their inherent, expressed, and implied powers.
Understand strategies for effective political action that impact local, state, and national governance.
Understand how law and public policy are established at the local, state, and national levels of government.

Employability Skills
Communicate and work productively with others, incorporating different perspectives and cross cultural understanding, to increase innovation and the quality of work.
Adapt to various roles and responsibilities and work flexibly in climates of ambiguity and changing priorities.
Demonstrate leadership skills, integrity, ethical behavior, and social responsibility while collaborating to achieve common goals.
Demonstrate initiative and self-direction through high achievement and lifelong learning while exploring the ways individual talents and skills can be used for productive outcomes in personal and professional life.
Demonstrate productivity and accountability by meeting high expectations.

Financial Literacy
Manage money effectively by developing spending plans and selecting appropriate financial instruments to maintain positive cash flow.
Assess the value, features, and planning processes associated with savings, investing, and asset building, and apply this knowledge to achieve long-term financial security with personal and entrepreneurial goals in a global market.
Understand human, cultural, and societal issues related to financial literacy, and practice legal and ethical behavior.

Health Literacy
Demonstrate functional health literacy skills to obtain, interpret, understand and use basic health concepts to enhance personal, family, and community health.
Synthesize interactive literacy and social skills to establish and monitor personal, family and community goals related to all aspects of health.
Apply critical literacy/thinking skills related to personal, family and community wellness.
Use media literacy skills to analyze media and other influences to effectively manage health risk situations and advocate for self and others.
Demonstrate behaviors that foster healthy, active lifestyles for individuals and the benefit of society.

Technology Literacy
Demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology.
Use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others.
Apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information.
Demonstrate critical thinking skills using appropriate tools and resources to plan and conduct research, manage projects, solve problems and make informed decisions.
Understand human, cultural, and societal issues related to technology and practice legal and ethical behavior.
Demonstrate a sound understanding of technology concepts, systems and operations.

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All Muscatine citizens interested in riding a bicycle can benefit from the bike library.

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Students spent Semester I gathering information, credible evidence, and strong arguments to better design the survey as well as educate the population. A bike library is a unique concept, not that it is a new idea, but it is an idea of which many are not familiar. Therefore, they needed to take time to themselves on bike libraries as well as the intense, multiple benefits of biking and what it can do for a community.
Their goal is to design the survey and create a promotional video to introduce the idea while asking people to take the survey and/or sponsor the library. Based on the stir created when community members heard about their idea, it is fairly evident the idea is a popular one.

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Harper’s Cycling & Fitness
The University of Northern Iowa
Blue Zones
Trinity Iowa Health System
The City of Muscatine
Eastern Iowa Community College District
Muscatine Journal

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Researching Exiting Bike Libraries

Students researched a variety of bike libraries across the U.S. to better understand their function, while also dissecting the libraries’ operational components. Students then determined their passions and combined those passions with operational components to create “jobs” per se. Students suddenly saw their place in the business, and ways they could actively use their passions/strengths to design the library.

Students with Different Interests Worked Together
Mechanics worked on the five most common bike repairs. The psychologists researched the psychological effects of advertising and biking. Geographers explored a variety of maps and map apps we could use in relation to the bike library. They chose five resources, took notes, shared out in small groups then to the large group. During large group discussions, new ideas formed, which sparked our idea wall. Their idea wall integrated pieces of current bike libraries with the research on various job-related topics to design a library that would best fit Muscatine.

Developing Arguments
In English, students were provided informational articles on the benefits of biking. They pulled apart each reading to better develop an argument for advertising and more so develop a concrete understanding of the benefits of biking to later utilize when creating a solid survey. They simultaneously explored the art of argumentation with emphasis on visual rhetoric and logos, pathos, and ethos. Students fully understood how ineffective numbers and data can be without a personal/emotional connection. The audience had to feel this was being created for them. Students viewed Simon Sinek’s TEDTalk “How Great Leaders Inspire Action.” Students then understood that while some businesses/organizations choose to explain how something works, they are not emphasizing why it is of great importance to the people they are attempting to involve. Instead of explaining what a bike library does, students need to advertise why it is vital to the community, why the community needs to be invested. It was through this process students then better saw that the bike library was not about bike rentals, it was about changing a community.

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