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

Transportation Activities

Transportation makes so many of the things we do every day possible. Attending school outside of your home, eating food not grown in your garden, visiting friends or family that do not live in your neighborhood, countless jobs, and global commerce all depend on transportation. The transportation sector including all forms and modes, consumed about 20% of all energy globally in 2015. As such, efficiency in transportation represents a large potential to save energy in modern society.
Modes of Transportation

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.

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Graphing Emissions

Whether light rail trains running on electricity or a private car running on unleaded gasoline, each mode of transportation has a different energy use and carbon intensity.

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Comparing Traffic Graphs

In 2017, the Washington Post pulled together a national analysis of driving distance limitations imposed by traffic during rush hour. Based on the hypothetical scenario of attempting to drive away from a downtown area in America's largest cities, contributor Sahil Chinoy produced a series of graphic representations of the distance achievable when leaving at three different times.

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Planning Public Transportation

Before beginning this activity, you may want to consider moving through Modes of Transportation or Modeling Public Transportation in order to gain familiarity with the topic at hand. The purpose of this activity is to model geographically how a public transportation system works in your town, neighborhood, or region. This is a mapping activity appropriate for groups or individuals.

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Modeling Public Transportation

After identifying and looking at the capacity of different modes of transportation, this activity takes a more problem-solving approach to move individuals from one place to another. If you' and your class are beginning to explore algebraic representation, there is an opportunity to extend the procedure of this activity into mathematical expressions.

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Transporting Bottled Water

Every step involved in producing bottled water—from treating the water, making the bottles, and shipping it to its final destination—requires energy, and both the water’s quality and its location affect the amount of energy embedded in the process.

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