Questions about the Champions School Program

What is the Champion Schools Program?

The Champion Schools Program is a peer-to-peer program about teen driving safety presented by The Brain Injury Alliance of New Jersey (BIANJ). We challenge teams of high school students from across the state to create safe driving campaigns that they promote to the students in their school and their communities.

How do we become a Champion School?

This program is open to all NJ high schools. Online applications are accepted now through November 15th, 2017. Chosen schools are notified by November 30th and each Champion School is awarded a cash stipend to help implement their campaigns.

What happens after we become a Champion School?

After schools have been chosen, they are notified by a staff person from BIANJ who will be their technical support person. A technical support person will be in contact with the faculty administrator from each school to set up a visit to your school. Prior to their visit, faculty advisors will be advised by BIANJ staff about necessary paperwork and steps they can take to familiarize themselves with the program.

When will we meet with our BIANJ technical support person?

BIANJ technical support staff will visit the schools during the months of December and January. At this visit, the BIANJ technical support person will bring your stipend check, a participation agreement and W9 forms for you to sign, along with general guidelines, consent form, and judging criteria.  We will also bring along with a banner to hang in your school. The support person will want to meet with you and your students to answer any topics or questions that may not have been covered in the Champion Schools webinar. We will also take a group photo with your banner at this visit.

When can we begin work on our project?

Even though schools are not notified until the end of November, any teen safety programs or projects that your school team works on during the 2017-2018 school year can count as part of your Champion Schools teen driving safety campaign. Some schools host presentations or events in the beginning of the school year before they know that they are selected or at the end of the year, after the final reporting is due. They can still add these events in their final report. As soon as your school is notified that you have been selected, you will want to begin selecting your team members and having meetings to help get the project started. At one of your first meetings, you will want to watch the webinar and get an overview of the program. You can also begin researching your chosen topic, deciding the roles and responsibilities of your team members, and reaching out to other community groups to partner with you. All schools should begin work on their project by January at the latest.

How many students should be on our team?

Each school picks their own team. Some schools have small teams and other schools try to involve as many students as they can with the project. There is no minimum or maximum number of team members’ requirement, but you should decide what style of project management will work best for your campaign.

What types of items can our cash stipends be spent on?

You can use your cash stipend to help implement your teen safe driving campaign and on any materials related to teen driving safety. Some schools use the money to purchase articles for giveaways or to buy t-shirts or wristbands. Some schools use the money to host speakers or events at their school, or to buy equipment to help create their projects. Other schools buy materials for their driver education classes. One school used the stipend to offset the cost of renting a bus that would drive students to and from their prom to help keep them safe. The only requirement is that the money must be used for teen driving safety. Also, any profits that you make as a result of selling items need to be re-invested into teen safe driving materials or programs. The Stipend Reporting Form is included in the Final Report. To see a copy, please go to the Tools for Schools Page.

When are the mid-term and final reports due?

The mid-term report is due March 15, 2018 and the final report is due on May 8, 2018. Both of these reports are online forms. These forms can be found on the Tools for Schools Page of UGotBrains.

Can we earn extra credit for our project?

Yes, you can earn extra credit by either hosting an event or presentation from one of our sponsors (complete list found on the Mid-term report ), or getting parents and teens from your school to complete the Allstate Parent/Teen Safe Driving Agreement. Contact information for the extra credit presentations can be found in the Resources section of Tools for Schools page at Ugotbrains.com. We talk more about this in our webinar that you can view on the Tools for Schools Page.

What kind of documentation do we need to provide for our project?

You will create either a PowerPoint presentation or video project summary not to exceed 10 minutes that you will upload to BIANJ’s YouTube channel or MP3 format, that will be shown to the judges. This project summary should be an overview of your campaign’s accomplishments. In addition to your project summary, we would like you to provide a PSA no longer than 90 seconds highlighting your important message. You may also mail in other documentation such as scrapbooks with photos, newspaper articles, bumper stickers, wristbands, t-shirts or other articles that you create as a part of your campaign. For more information, please look at the final report form on the Resources Section of Tools for Schools Page of UGotBrains and view the Champion Schools webinar.

How are the projects judged?

Projects are judged by a panel of traffic safety professionals, educational experts and media representatives. Judges will score each project based on a set of criteria. You can find the judging criteria on the Tools for Schools Page of UGotBrains.

When do we find out the winners?

The winning schools are announced at the Awards Showcase.

Questions about the Awards Showcase and Luncheon

When and where does the Awards Showcase and Luncheon take place?

The Awards Showcase will be at Six Flags Great Adventure Theme Park, date TBA

Do we have to attend the showcase?

Yes, at least one representative from each school must attend. If there is a problem with members of your team being able to attend, then either the faculty advisor, the school principal, or a community member from your town must come to the Showcase. Everyone who attends the showcase must have a signed media consent form that the Faculty Advisor brings to us on the day of the Showcase.

How do we get to the Showcase?

The faculty advisor from each school should begin to make transportation arrangements with the school as soon as you’ve been selected as a Champion School. Some school districts provide a bus to take the team, others have teachers or adults from the community drive the team members.

What type of dress should we wear?

Dress for the Awards Showcase is casual. Teams will often wear t-shirts that they designed for their project, or some other identifying apparel.   In the past, we’ve had students dress-up as their project mascot or some other costume that helps to identify their campaign. You can see examples of team pictures on the Champion Schools webinar on the Tools for Schools Page of UGotBrains.com

What do we have to bring to the Showcase?

Schools will be assigned a 6’x3’ table that they can use to exhibit their project. Each table will have access to electricity, but please bring extension cords and a power strip. Some schools make a poster that they use to display their projects, some bring interactive games, activities or materials to share with visitors, and others bring a laptop to show their project PowerPoint or video summary. The hard copy of your project summaries and any other documentation that you mailed to BIANJ will be on your table for you to use. Also, faculty advisors will need to bring signed copies of the media release form for each person attending. Examples of previous year’s project displays can be viewed on the Champion Schools webinar.

Questions about the Driving Simulator

What kind of driving simulator is awarded as the grand prize?

The driving simulator that is awarded to the 3 top schools is a Virtual Driver Interactive NDX306. The driver sits behind the wheel and uses the “One Simple Decision” software to simulate driving in many different conditions. Pictures of the driving simulator can be found on both the Champion Schools webinar and UGotBrains.com. Information about the driving simulator dimensions can be found under the NJM Resources Section of the Tools for Schools Page of UgotBrains.com.

If we win, when do we get our driving simulator?

At the Awards Showcase, a representative from NJM will take the contact information of the winning faculty advisors and will coordinate with them for delivery of the simulator. Driving simulators will be delivered and set-up in the winning schools in either September or October of 2017.

If you any additional questions, please contact us at championschool@bianj.org
Thank you.