Learn about Firefighting—Past, Present, Future

Just about any topic that a student is interested in is worth pursuing. When helping a young person figure out how to study a particular interest, brainstorm together all the possible connections. Here is one example.

Firefighting has always fascinated young children. Firefighters dress in special clothes, ride in special vehicles, and perform unusual tasks. They save people and structures. They are our heroes at a time when there is an absence of heroes. If your child is interested in this subject, there are many ways you can help her learn more.

There are firefighter museums all over the country. Check out the Fire Museum Network. Do an Internet search for “firefighter museum” in your hometown or any place where you plan to travel. Visit these sites and see if they have any special programs for kids.

Learn about the history of firefighting at websites such as Escape Through Time, created by NOVA.

Local fire stations often allow visitors to tour the facility, talk with firefighters, and find out what their days look like. Schedule a visit with your young people.

Find out about firefighting worldwide. How is firefighting managed differently and how do the jobs of firefighters vary in different countries?

Explore the future of firefighting robots at websites such as Popular Science.

YouTube has many videos that you can watch about firefighting. You can search on fire fighting robots, firefighter training, firefighting tools, forest fire, fire fighting airplanes, and fire boats to name a few. (Notice that firefighting can be spelled as either one or two words, so try both with your searches.) If you have young children, screen the videos to make certain that they are appropriate.

Branch out and think of subjects related to firefighting—clothing, vehicles, tools, types of fires, types of firefighting, famous fires, fire departments, layouts of fire stations, life at a fire station, special training for firefighters, ways to keep your home safe, what to do in case of a fire, ways to put out different types of fires, and how firefighters protect themselves. Brainstorm as many ideas as possible. The Internet is filled with helpful resources.

Encourage kids to make their own creations focusing on firefighters. Perhaps they could make a book or develop a game to teach others about firefighting. Or, they might draw pictures, write stories, or created their own fire fighting robot.

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