Watt Watchers of Texas: Texas is Too Good To Waste™

Activity: Modes of Transportation

Grade Level:

Activity Overview: The very first step to thinking about transportation as an energy and resource problem is identifying different modes of transportation. Many forms exist, but they all might not exist in your community. In this activity, students will identify the different modes of transportation.

Time: 20 minutes

Activity 1: Identifying Types of Transportation

Project or print the list of photographs of different forms of transportation. Also write or or project the following list. Students should match the name with the picture.

  • Personal car
  • Personal truck/pickup
  • SUV
  • Commercial van/full-size van
  • Public bus
  • School bus
  • Tram/light rail
  • Train
  • Subway/metro

Are there any forms missing from this list? What forms of transportation do students use? These forms are geared toward commuting, but another set of modes of transportation applies to long-range travel, such as ships and airplanes. Have students ever taken a ship or an airplane?

Activity 2: Rank Transportation Capacity

The list below contains the average capacity of different modes of transportation.

  • Personal car (standard sedan): 5
  • Personal truck (standard cab pickup): 5
  • SUV (extended edition, 2 rows + driver/passenger): 8
  • Full-size van (transit passenger configuration): 15
  • Public bus (40-foot, non-articulated): 42
  • School bus: 72
  • Light rail (3 cars, 124 feet total): 96 seated/209 total
  • Train (Northeast Corridor express service): 304
  • Subway (local, crosstown service): 432 seated/1584 total

Provide the capacity of the different modes to your students in a different order than is presented here. Ask them to rank them in order of capacity.


SS.3.2B, MATH.3.2D

Watt Watchers of Texas is a Partner Program of Smart Energy Education.
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