Students extinguish a fire in a dumpster
Capt. Cornelison explains how smoke and fire travels through a home by convection and uncontrolled ventilation.
Students learn how firefighters use specialized equipment to move heavy objects such as a school bus.


Fire Training Center Field Trip Teaches 8th Grade Students About Fire Careers

CANTON, GA. (May 31, 2024) — Today, 8th grade STEM students from Cherokee County School District took part in a unique field trip that included watching a live fire demonstration, getting to hold a fire hose and ride in the bucket of a fire truck at the Cherokee County Fire & Emergency Services Training Center in Holly Springs.

This field trip is the annual culmination of an innovative partnership between Cherokee County Fire & Emergency Services, Cherokee County School District, and UL Research Institutes that brings real-world safety science phenomena directly to students to help deepen their understanding of fire dynamics, careers in the fire service, and how STEM is used in this field every day. By partnering to bring firefighters into the classroom and students to the fire training center, Cherokee County Fire and CCSD have built a community education program that is growing student understanding of the safety risks around them, while exposing them to future safety science and STEM careers like the fire service.

Cherokee County is one of four school districts in the Atlanta area that has implemented Xplorlabs, a no-cost education platform powered by the latest safety research from ULRI’s world-class research institutes. This research is translated into Next Generation Science Standards-based education resources for middle and high schools by education experts and former teachers in ULRI’s Office of Research Experiences & Education.

Since launching this partnership less than three years ago, CCSD has expanded Xplorlabs’ Science of Fire Forensics to all 8th grade STEM classrooms, reaching nearly 1,700 students countywide each academic year.

“The Fire Forensics program ignites a passion within our community to provide students with authentic, engaging STEM applications by showing how STEM is used daily in various fire professions,” said Erin Jacobs, K-12 curriculum coordinator of science, STEM, health and physical education for the Cherokee County School District. “The invaluable partnerships between the organizations involved in this program exemplify a shared investment in equipping the emerging generation with the knowledge and skill set to connect with and understand the world around them.”

Throughout the school year, teachers, fire service personnel and volunteers from the Society of Fire Protection Engineers come together to use Xplorlabs’ interactive resources and investigations in the classroom, teaching students about fire dynamics, how to read a fire scene, building a claim about the fire’s origin and cause, and even defending that claim to a fire investigator. This immersive field trip takes those learnings even further — allowing students to experience engaging, hands-on activities at the fire training center and providing them the opportunity to deepen these real-world learnings as a “firefighter for a day.”

“We are grateful for our partnership with Cherokee County School District and UL Research Institutes. Utilizing real-world experience from career firefighters to teach our young men and women about science is something worth celebrating,” said Cherokee County Fire Chief Eddie Robinson. “Not only does this help the students learn the material, but it also exposes them to our profession in a positive manner. The need for students to be exposed to skilled trades like firefighting is more important than ever and we’re proud to be doing that alongside our county’s educators and UL Research Institutes.”

“Xplorlabs is all about showing students that science — and safety — are all around us,” said Megan O’Keeffe, ULRI Xplorlabs senior education specialist. “By bringing real-world scenarios into the classroom, these students can better understand the science around them. In turn, they make safer decisions, and some even choose new education and career pathways. This partnership in Cherokee County is an incredible example of how we can work toward a safer world one student at a time.”

The collaboration among the three organizations was recognized for helping to meet the Center for Public Safety Excellence’s accreditation criteria for external agency partnerships and featured in Cherokee Fire’s certification process.

Photos and videos from today’s event can be found here: Firefighter for a Day Media


About Cherokee County Fire & Emergency Services

Cherokee County Fire & Emergency Services is a full service, county-run organization, providing firefighting and emergency services to the residents and visitors of Cherokee County. The agency boasts an Insurance Service Office rating of 2 and International Accreditation through the Center of Public Safety Excellence. The agency has 27 stations covering 434 square miles and serving a population of nearly 275,000. To learn more about CCFES or how to join the team, visit


About UL Research Institutes
UL Research Institutes is a nonprofit research organization dedicated to advancing public safety through scientific discovery. Since 1894, our research has advanced our mission toward a safer, more secure, and sustainable future. Focused on global risks from fire mitigation and air quality to safe energy storage and digital privacy, we conduct rigorous independent research, analyze safety data, and partner with experts to uncover and act on existing and emerging risks to human safety. Discover more at

Posted : May 31, 2024

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