Junior physics students have been exploring the application and consequences of kinematics on a global scale through the lens of transportation. Students began the unit with an introduction to transportation safety and what can happen if vehicles don’t balance the application of kinematics with the consequences of human interaction. After revisiting key terms and ideas, students themselves were tasked with researching how their own personal preference should be balanced in order to benefit society as a whole.
Students began their investigation by identifying three areas of transportation safety that were relevant to their own experiences or fears as they traveled day-to-day. The best of the three was selected and students developed a debatable question before moving on to research. Research topics included: Should people be allowed to eat while they drive? Should there be a limit on volume level for driving or biking? Should pedestrians be required to have an uncovered ear to listen for vehicles? Should children be allowed to sit in the front seat of a car?
Using the webtool Piktochart, students compiled their research along with their opinions into an infographic that could be distributed on a global scale. Students had to make sure their infographic was easy to read, contained accurate and cited information, and includ ed relevant data all while looking presentable. Despite the challenges of learning a new webtool and the struggles of a larger-scale research question, many students rose to the challenge and created infographics one could expect to see distributed by the media. Students were also able to use this medium as a way to express their opinions and concerns about the safety of themselves and others. In their infographics, students share personal stories of their own experiences, the loss of family members as a result of a safety violation, and rationality as to why they believe something should be legalized, moderated, or made illegal. The juniors at Clemente are fast on their way to become voices on the global spectrum for their ever-growing curiosity for the betterment of the world.