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Topic 3 – Cars of Today

These lessons involve quizzing students on the history and use of the automobile and transportation in the United States. Students will get a sense of the repair and maintenance costs of automobiles, including pollution and transportation costs.

Subjects Addressed

English, Language Arts and Reading; Integrated Physics and Chemistry; Biology; Environmental Systems; Chemistry; Geology, Meteorology, and Oceanography; and Social Studies

Lesson 1 The Automobile: History and Current Use

Activity Type:

Independent research, quiz, small group/class discussion

Suggested Time:

30 minutes

Student Objectives:
  • Become familiar with the history of the automobile as well as its current and possible future use through reading and a “test-your-knowledge” quiz.
  • Become aware of how the automobile is affecting the environment.

Download Lesson (PDF, 47KB)

Download Student Worksheet (PDF, 76KB)

Download Answer Key (PDF, 76KB)

Lesson 2 The Cost of Driving

Activity Type:

Class discussion, group activity, optional homework or in-class research

Suggested Time:

1 hour of class discussion plus an optional 30 minutes of homework

Student Objectives:
  • Understand the various economic and environmental costs associated with driving.

Download Lesson (PDF, 60KB)

Lesson 3 Roadcents Website Activity

Activity Type:

Independent research, worksheet, optional homework or extra credit activity

Suggested Time:

30 minutes

Student Objectives:
  • Explore the costs and potential savings associated with car maintenance and driving habits.
  • Become familiar with a reliable online source of information about vehicle and driving costs and savings.

Download Lesson (PDF, 43KB)

Download Student Worksheet (PDF, 96KB)

Download Answer Key (PDF, 74KB)

Lesson 4 Average Vehicle Occupancy (AVO) in Your Community

Activity Type:

Independent research for extra credit, semester project, scholarship proposal; class presentation

Suggested Time:

2 weeks

Student Objectives:
  • Determine the average vehicle occupancy (AVO) in the community or school.
  • Develop, administer, and analyze a survey to determine attitudes toward carpooling, biking, walking, air pollution, and transportation.

Download Lesson (PDF, 43KB)

Download Student Worksheet (PDF, 41KB)