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Activity Five: Imagine The Road To The Future

Materials:

Google maps are versatile and easy to access learning tools.

Photographs from satellites are very helpful for students to see the “big picture" and the relationships between destinations. In addition to web based maps and photography of trails and roads, your students will have fun learning while using crayons, colored pencils, markers and/or paint, poster board, etc.

Students will benefit from seeing maps of United States, Mexico,

and Canada, the western hemisphere, and the entire planet.

Oceans need to be included as ground transportation elements

in the world view of future ground transportation.

It will be very help for students to have the perspective of looing at the earth's destinations on a world globe. Plus, as mankind moves forward with populating the moon and planets there already is work being done imaging and preparing for ground transportation on moons and planets. Students will have eye-opening experiences considering different gravities, soils, temperatures, etc.

This activity combines student imagination and logical analysis of future transportation facilities such as roadways, highways, and superhighways. The students can be broken up into groups sized by the teacher. The assignment is for each team of students to create their own vision of future transportation. Students will benefit from a national or world map where they choose to connect two locations (ie. Los Angeles to New York or Chicago to Moscow).

They should be able to communicate reasoning for the location (i.e. it's usefulness in relation to the changing dynamics between countries or the future of leisure travel, etc). There should be an estimated date of creation. One team might want its creation in 10 years where another envisions transportation 200 years from now.

The groups should provide an idea of the types of materials they would use, safety, funding (ie. taxes, toll roads, payment to private owners, etc), and ways to avoid negative impact on the environment.

The facilities can be used by any type of vehicle the team can think of…from futuristic cars to hover craft cars to pedestrians with jet packs. It's all fair game, but their materials and planning must be geared to the type of facility they want to build. They should provide rules of travel as well, such as speed limits and lanes that are designated to specific types of travel. If the facility must cross water or mountains the students should be able to explain how that will be accomplished (bridges, tunnels, ferries, energy transference etc.)

The team should use the paper and colored pencils/paint to illustrate their new highway showing the vehicles it was designed for, any signage it may need and of course the students need to name their highway. When completed, the teams would get up in the front of the class and present their future transportation facility. They should explain all the details (mentioned above) of the facility and how they came up with the idea.

This activity encourages the students to think of the changing needs of transportation based on the changing needs of our civilizations and global relationships. They also must consider logistics like speed control, geographic challenges, and many other considerations.

Students will have a difficult time accounting for the costs to build and to maintain their designs, but they can imagine how valuable the system to the life style they see in their vision. They can discuss the many different specialists it will take to design, build and maintain their ground transportation facility.

Links And Resources:

http://www.futureforall.org/transportation/futurecars.htm

http://www.transportation1.org/tif5report/changing_america.html

http://www.publictransportation.com/

http://www.wegennaardetoekomst.nl/cgibin/toonlijst.pl?config=config&var=volgnr&val =2&layout=index&confignr=2

www.spacefoundation.org

Google or Yahoo searches for the following

provide many usable links:

- Roads to the Future

- Imagine transportation facilities to the future

- Creative Roads to the future