Skip Navigation

University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Transportation Systems Engineering

Teacher Resource Center

Lesson Overview
Lesson Title:
Traffic Jam

Ms. Christina Argo (Primary)

Brief Description:
Students will be presented with a traffic flow issue through video. The students are to come up with ways to alleviate traffic and solve the major issues.

Topics Introduced:
transportation, simulation

Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics Curriculum Framework Components Addressed:
Logistics Planning and Management Services
Suggested Grade Levels:
7th Grade
8th Grade

Standards Taught:
8.2.1 Science 2003

Lesson Information
Learning Expectations:

Students will be introduced to what a civil engineer does.
Students will use scientific inquiry to develop a new traffic flow plan.

Plan Of Action:

1. Ask: Have any of you seen the traffic flow problems around Omaha and Bellevue? Discuss different issues the students are recognizing.
2. Show the PowerPoint on traffic flow. PowerPoint introduces what traffic flow is, problems that arise, and way to fix it.
3. Present problem. Teacher should help facilitate this discussion.
4. Divide students up into groups of 4-5. Each group is come up with their own hypothesis on how to mend the traffic flow issues presented.
5. Students, using a large sheet of paper, will draw out the intersection and design a new intersection where they believe traffic will be improved.
6. Students, in their groups, will present their ideas to the whole class. As a class, the students will discuss issues and good points to each presentation.
7. As a conclusion, the groups are to change their plans one more time before turning them in.

Data Set Used:

The data collected will strictly be based upon votes. The class will pretend to be on a board for a small town who will vote on the best options for traffic flow.

Materials Needed:

PowerPoint presentation provided, overhead projector, computer, large white paper, pencils, markers

Preparation Period:

Prep time is setting up the laptop and LCD projector. The teacher may also want to have the intersections drawn for the students on a large sheet of white paper.

Implementation Period:

Time needed: 45-60 minutes

Science, Math, Engineering and / or Technology Implications:

Students will collect data and use that data to develop a hypothesis.
Students will use scientific inquiry to solve a given problem.
Students will design scenario that will alleviate the traffic flow issues.

Unexpected Results:

I had originally inteded on making this a 3 day lesson where the students would be developing a new route in front of our school in order to mend our traffic problems. Without me knowing, the school had developed a new solution when school started this year.

Considerations for Diversity in Education:

This activity can be adapted to any country or neighbor as needed. Most communities and societies have experienced some kind of traffic flow issues. Visual and kinesthetic learners will benefit mostly from the detailed plans.

Lesson Files
Traffic Flow
This is a PowerPoint, detailing what traffic flow is and why its important.
[size: 335872] [date uploaded: Nov 03, 2010, 3:30 pm ]

Sample Data to Record
This is a few sample data sheets that you could have the kids find at your own school.
[size: 777955] [date uploaded: Apr 07, 2011, 4:28 pm ]

Some video files may require Adobe Flash to open or view.
Download Adobe Flash Player