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University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Transportation Systems Engineering

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Lesson Overview
Lesson Title:

Mrs. Diane Swartzlander (Primary)

Brief Description:
Students will learn what a roundabout is and why it is used to control traffic flow. During this lesson students will draw/build a roundabout and a regular signal intersection. Students will find the point of contacts, then use information to find diameter and circumference of the roundabout. Students will then use the Stopping Sight Distance formula for 3 different speeds.

Topics Introduced:
Use of roundabouts to control traffic flow. Geometry, use of formulas, converting rates, and unit rates.

Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics Curriculum Framework Components Addressed:
Transportation Operations
Logistics Planning and Management Services
Transportation Systems/ Infrastructure Planning, Management and Regulation
Health, Safety and Environmental Management
Suggested Grade Levels:
6th Grade
7th Grade
8th Grade

Standards Taught:
8.2.1 Math 2006
8.2.3 Math 2006
8.2.2 Math 2006
8.2.4 Math 2006
8.3.2 Math 2006
8.4.1 Math 2006
8.4.2 Math 2006
8.4.3 Math 2006
8.4.6 Math 2006
8.6.2 Math 2006

Lesson Information
Learning Expectations:

Students will learn about the use of roundabouts and their design.
Students will use geometric formulas to find diameter and circumference.
Students will convert rates; miles per hour to feet per seconds.
Students will use the Stopping Sight Distance formulas.

Plan Of Action:

Introduction: What is a roundabout compared to a regular traffic light intersection.
Activity 1: Finding the different point of "contacts" in a roundabout and regular traffic light intersection.
Activity II: Viewing different videos about roundabouts and identifying the different geometric parts.
Activity III: Vocabulary discussion, parts of a roundabout.
Problem Solving: Dimensions of a roundabout, Stopping Sight Distance formula

Data Set Used:

Students will generate their own data.

Materials Needed:

Pipe Cleaners, 16-20 for each group of students
4-6 match box sized cars, trucks, etc. for each group of students
Paper for recording information for each group of students
Problem Solving worksheet, one for each student
Computer/projector to show video clips

Video: may require a free 'plug-in' on some computers.

Preparation Period:

This lesson was designed to be taught in a one to three day time period. Depending on when the lesson is used and what students are familiar with in their mathematical learning. To prepare will be making copies and getting a few supplies ready.

Implementation Period:

Each Activity can be taught separately, over a three day time period.
Or, if you have a block schedule, all activities could be taught in one to two periods.

Science, Math, Engineering and / or Technology Implications:

Introduction to Transportation Engineering and Health, Safety and Environmental Engineering.

Unexpected Results:

Several students brought up why their parents did not like Round abouts and how they didn't like driving on them. We discussed as a class why that might be. This ended up being quite a discussion involving, "change is hard", and when they're driving in a couple of years using round abouts won't be such a change for them.

Considerations for Diversity in Education:

Students who don't have access to a car may have a difficult time understanding the concept of "round abouts". Showing the video with the crashes may bother students who have been involved in an accident or who have lost family members in accidents. It would be good to explain to students why you're showing the video and what your intent is when showing it. Have them watch for the different types of crashes and where the vehicles are being hit.

Lesson Files
Roundabout lesson
This describes the lesson and has the worksheets that are used with the lesson.
[size: 202240] [date uploaded: Feb 27, 2011, 3:55 pm ]

Round about lesson power point
This is a power point that may used as a lesson over several days. Handouts are in the lesson doc. The first link is to a You Tube video. This does not need to be played if your school blocks You Tube videos.
[size: 4537344] [date uploaded: Apr 02, 2011, 4:57 pm ]

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