Driving the Future: Transportation, Energy and the Environment
Classroom Resource for Teachers
Driving the Future is a teaching resource package that enables students to discover the scientific, technological, social, and environmental impacts of vehicle use in Canada from their own classrooms. Students can brush up their knowledge, exploring concepts related to electricity, engines, efficiency, and renewable resources. Through a variety of engaging activities, students can explore the impact that cars have on Canadians’ lives—past, present and future. They can also see the environmental impacts of various vehicle and fuels types, and decide for themselves how advanced technologies might help to solve our environmental challenges.
To access these classroom activities and resources, just download the Virtual Exploration Guide. The activities in this guide focus on automotive technologies, energy sources and environmental challenges through students’ study of science, technology, history, social studies, and the environment. Teachers can adapt these lesson ideas and resources to their own needs—focusing on one curricular area, or pursuing a multi-disciplinary approach. If you also plan to visit the Museum, these resources can be used to prepare for a visit, or to provide meaningful follow-up.
Driving the Future can be downloaded in two formats. You can download the entire Guide as a single file (.pdf file – 1 Mb), or access it as a series of independent modules. Worksheets for the modules can be reproduced as necessary for use in your classroom.
To fully grasp the social and environmental impact of vehicles, students need a sound knowledge of key scientific and technological principles. This section of the Exploration Guide emphasizes theory-based learning, exploring electricity and circuitry, the function of motors and engines, the principle of efficiency, and the difference between renewable and non-renewable resources. You will likely want to use this module concurrently with the others.
This section of the Exploration Guide focuses on the impact that vehicles have had on Canadian society. Students explore the history of cars and related innovation in Canada, study how Canadians meet their energy needs, measure their ‘ecological footprints,’ and consider how emerging green technologies might be best marketed to the Canadian public.
Transportation technology has a profound impact on Canadian society given our country’s vast, diverse landscape. Increasingly, Canadians are becoming aware of the impact that their transportation choices have on our environment. This section of the Exploration Guide takes a holistic approach, expanding the study of vehicle efficiency and emissions to address the environmental impact of different energy sources, and to discuss how we can balance our practical needs with the desire to make sound environmental choices.