One week's journeys
Classroom Activity for 11-14
What the Activity is for
To investigate the energy costs of travel.
To establish that energy is measured in joules and that some kinds of travel are more expensive than others.
What to Prepare
- a diary of a week's travel activity for a pupil, showing the number of kilometres travelled by each mode of transport.
What Happens During this Activity
This activity could usefully be carried out with spreadsheets, using technology to help keep track of the calculations.
Draw up a table of the number of kilometres for each mode of travel and use this to find out how many joules have been expended for each one:
|energy cost for one person to travel one km||kilojoule|
|car (1 person – 30 mph)||2264|
|car (5 people – 30 mph)||506|
|car (1 person – 60 mph)||3444|
|car (5 people – 60 mph)||767|
Look for common patterns and differences among the pupils. You could make this into something of an exercise in the analysis of data: what hypotheses might explain the patterns?
Again, draw special attention to the way in which the common currency allows pupils to compare very different modes of transport.