engineering and design
Traffic lights are part of our daily life. Optimising their operation can reduce the time people spend on the roads as well as improve fuel consumption and reduce pollution. Students are required to analyse the current design / operation of traffic light systems and come up with possible solutions. This involves mathematics for (traffic engineering), electronics (control systems), economics (estimate fuel consumption). They will also be called to prepare their business strategy on promoting their new improved product.
In this activity, participants are asked to explore the current traffic light systems used in their area. They can choose a set of traffic lights in their neighbourhood that believe requires optmisation and understand how it works. Then, they will be required to spend about 30 minutes to redesign the traffic lights recording their suggestions / ideas. Part of the team (2 students) will be required to build a set of traffic lights while the rest of the team (2 students) will be required to look into calculating the improved consumption of a simple car and the estimated CO emissions of a medium sized car being stopped at the traffic lights. The last 30 minutes (out of 90minutes), the whole team will be required to spend their time for designing their marketing strategy for promoting their ideas / product. The participants will generate creative solutions to a challenging problem and work like engineers (electronic, traffic, software). These tasks focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) practices and the relationships between STEM practices and concepts. Through such practical real-world connections, participants will have an opportunity to see how STEM is part of their everyday world.