On this page you will find:
The National Experiment
Possible Investigations and Experiment Examples
Road Safety Links
– don’t forget to check out the NZ Road Safety Week website ‘Brake’
The National Experiment 2017
Using Science Investigations: Stay Safe on the Roads with Science
Don’t forget to share your experiments and results by sending reports, diagrams or videos to firstname.lastname@example.org
The aim of the experiment this year is for classes to carry out experiments and then share these with other classes around the country. In doing this students will have more of an idea of how the Science Community can work to come up with useful conclusions.
- Within your class, design an investigation to show how to be safe on the roads. (This can be done at any time of the year. You do not have to wait for Primary Science Week)
- Share your design with other classes around the country.
- Share your results with others.
- Carry out other investigations provided by other schools
- Discuss all experiments; their accuracy, reliability and usefulness.
- Investigations may be fair tests, they may be observations, using models or just looking for patterns – whatever suits your programme and age group.
- Most of the answers to these investigations are well known to adults but they may not be so for students. Actually finding out their own results may give students a better understanding of their importance.
- Designs can be very simple or more complicated.
- Simple equipment can be used (especially toys), or students may be tasked to make their own equipment as required.
- We would encourage you to share experimental designs and results using the NZAPSE website. You can send any experiments or results to email@example.com.
- This can be in the form of a written report, labeled diagrams or a very short movie clip.
- By discussing and comparing their own, and others’, experimental designs and results, students are able to gain a greater understanding of how scientists work, the importance of appropriate data collection, as well as the actual outcomes.
Possible Experiment Topics
How important are seat belts? (see below)
How do cell phones distract you?
How observant are you when walking with ear buds? (see below)
How does speed impact on distance needed to stop?
-tryout this great interactive activity from the Physics Classroom
How does a wet road impact on stopping distances?
Which surfaces are better for driving on?
Should pets in cars have special restraints?
What is the stopping distance of bicycles at different speeds?
What is the two second rule? Does it work?
What factors affect a vehicles stopping distance?
How important are bicycle helmets for safety?
How fast are cars travelling past your school? (How many cars travel past the school?)
(Use speed = distance ÷ time)
What colours are most visible to drivers on the street- reflective, non-reflective, fluorescent?
Aim: How observant are you when walking with ear buds?
Designed by: Year 8 students for Science Fair Project
1. Place a few interesting objects and pictures along the walls of a corridor
2. Ask a student to walk the length of the corridor (do not tell them why you doing the experiment)
3. At the end ask them to recall anything they noticed while walking along the corridor
4. Repeat this with several other students – make sure they do not talk to anyone after they have completed the walk
5. Repeat the process with a new group of students this time with them wearing ear buds and listening to music of their choice
6. At the end ask them to recall anything they noticed while walking alone the corridor
Record all the things that each student noticed
Compare those with and without ear buds
Display in table and Bar graph
Answer your aim by using your results.
Aim: How do seat belts help us when we need to stop suddenly?
Designed by: Science teacher
1. Place an object (b lock of wood, ball of plasticine – you may need to work out what is best for this) in the ‘seat’ of a toy car (you may need to make you own car for this)
2. Push it so it travels quickly in a straight line towards a barrier that will make it stop.
3. When the car stops see where the object ends up.
4. Repeat this a few times and record the positions (you could measure the distance or map out the positions or take photos etc)
5. Fashion a ‘seat belt’ to hold the object firmly in place.
6. Repeat the car trip and stop – trying to keep the speed the same each time
7. Record where the object ends up after each trial.
Or go to this site on the Science Learning Hub https://www.sciencelearn.org.nz/resources/2275-investigating-car-safety-features
Or check out this home-made car with and with out seat belts.
Collate all results – present as diagram, montage of photos, or graph if measurements have been taken.
Has a seat belt made a difference to where the object lands when stopping suddenly?
Does the speed of the vehicle change the distance the object travels when the vehicle is stopped suddenly?
Links for Road Safety
Resources and Information
Reminder: Before you begin, please check if any of your students may have been affected by road accidents. Some of these activities and movie clips may be difficult for some children to be involved with due to any previous experiences.
Brake – the Road Safety Charity – organisers of Road Safety Week 8 – 14 May 2017
Science Learning Hub – Nigel Latta Blows Stuff Up. Episode 4 Car Collision and the Science behind them
Road Safe – NZ Police
Auckland Transport – ideas and links
Traffic and Road Safety Research Groups – Waikato University
Pedal Ready – safe cycling in Wellington
History of Vehicle Safety
UN Global Road Safety Week
Road Safety Resources from the NZ government
Keep your eyes on the Road – TV Ad
Cell phone add – Put Me First
Rampant rise in distracted driving – From NZ Herald
NZ Curriculum for Secondary Schools – possible ideas
Road Safety and Science – Secondary Lessons
All theory covered and possible activities (which can be modified) provided
NZTA Primary Education Resources
Road Safety resources from Canada
NZCER – Assessment Resource Banks
Search in Science for ‘Cars’ ‘Roads’ for a variety of activities and resources