This module is available for free with a subscription to Learning Lab.

Transforming Transportation

Theme: 
Transportation
Grade: 
9, 10
Essential questions
What are our current transportation options, and what are some issues they create?
How can we evaluate whether a transportation system is effective or not?
What can we do to make transportation more sustainable?
How do people at out school use transportation?
What could the city do to help inspire people at our school to change their transportation habits?
What are some ideas for making key transportation systems better?
How can we effectively share innovative ideas through sketches and models?

This module includes the following lessons:

Lesson 1: Eco-101: 101 Fundamentals: Transportation (Estimated time needed: One 55-minute session)
This lesson begins with students students collectively identifying consequences inherent in the status-quo transportation system, which is built primarily around individual vehicles that burn fossil fuels. Then they consider important characteristics of any transportation system, including safety, cost, convenience, user experience, and environmental impact. Next, they take a look at some ideas and innovations occurring around the world to help improve transportations systems. Finally, students analyze the existing transportation system in their community and consider ideas for how to transform it into a more sustainable system.

Lesson 2: Eco-Activity: Stopping Traffic (Estimated time needed: 55 minutes)
In this lesson, students pretend they have been called upon to help city officials who are developing a new strategic plan to support and encourage alternative forms of transportation. Students are challenged to represent the viewpoints of all the students on campus. They begin by first looking at their own transportation habits. Then they consolidate their results as a class, using a simple visual tool that makes trends easy to spot. Students then work in small teams to brainstorm ideas for the new strategic plan. Finally, students vote on the solution they feel best represents the needs of the school community.

Lesson 3: Eco-Activity: Update My Ride! (Estimated time needed: 55 minutes)
In this lesson, students participate in a design challenge to create a prototype for a new, improved, sustainable, and appealing form of public transportation. They work in small design teams to consider existing systems and how they can be improved to better satisfy the needs of the community. They outline ideas and sketch a design for the new prototype. Then they present their prototypes to the class and offer constructive feedback on the other prototypes.

Lesson 4: Eco-Activity: Get On the Bus! (Estimated time needed: 55 minutes)
This lesson offers students another opportunity to apply what they've learned in this module by taking on the role of change-makers to create an appealing bus stop that will help encourage people to ride city buses. Students work in small design teams to consider existing systems and how they can be improved to better satisfy the needs of the community. They brainstorm ideas, sketch a design, and then build a model that represents their vision. Then they present their sketch and model to the class and offer constructive feedback to their classmates.

Please sign in to confirm access