Provided by Prince William County Schools (PWCS)
Promoting science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) to solve problems has been a focus at Belmont Elementary School this year. Fourth-grade students at Belmont participated in a lesson taught by Joe Toole, a retired engineer and a government contractor for the Federal Highway Administration.
During the lesson, Toole taught students about the challenges of intersection design. Students acted out what would happen if there were no stop signs, if there were stop signs, if there was a traffic signal, and if there was a roundabout. They timed how long it took the “cars” (students pretended to drive cars) to get through the intersection and how many crashes occurred.
The discussion then turned to cars in the future, including driverless automobiles. Students were presented the challenge to create a tall antenna to help the cars communicate. Using straws and clay, the students created antennas as a communication solution for the automobiles. The engaging lesson had students thinking and problem-solving outside of the box.