Public Health Student Volunteers Map Safe Walking Routes for Elementary Students

Meharry students and Haywood Elementary educators walk along a community sidewalk.


Meharry Public Health student volunteers recently conducted a Safe Routes to School Assessment for Haywood Elementary School utilizing a smartphone app called MapplerK2, designed by Meharry’s Dr. Wansoo Im. The software enabled several groups of Meharry students and Haywood educators participating in the Oct. 12th effort to map a two-mile radius around the elementary school in about a half hour.


Meharry students present to Haywood Elementary educators in a darkened gym.


Prior to mapping, over a dozen Meharry students trained Haywood educators in how to use the application. They then split up into groups to walk the streets in the surrounding neighborhood. The presence (or absence) of sidewalks, crosswalks and traffic signals were noted. The condition of the roads and the volume of traffic were also recorded.


A volunteer group stands at an intersection next to a street sign. A Meharry student logs data into her phone.


The goal of collecting this data is to work with community planners to make the walk to school safer for Haywood Elementary students. MapplerK2 is publicly available for both iOS and Android. Students, parents and educators are encouraged to use the app themselves to map any concerns they find in their communities.


A Meharry student photographs a stop sign with his phone. A Meharry student demonstrates the MapplerK2 app to Haywood educators on a community street.


Meharry Public Health students mapped safe walking routes for three other schools before Haywood, and plan on mapping two others by the end of the year.


A group photo of Meharry students and Haywood Elementary educators.