• Activity
  • Roads, Vehicles & Traffic

How effective is safety equipment?

Learning areas:
  • Technology
Year levels:
  • Year 5
  • Year 6

Have students explore the website www.towardszero.vic.gov.au and look at some of the ways cars and roads have changed to make them safer. They should note any features that they could use for their safety device.

Divide the students into small groups and explain that they are to design, test and evaluate a landing pad or ‘safety device’ to protect an egg during a collision.

Remind them that the egg could be protected by some form of protective apparatus, or the environment could be adapted to reduce the damage to the egg in the event of a collision.

Ask students to explain how their device compares or contrasts with the way in which an airbag, seatbelt or helmet works.

Materials

You will need to provide students with:

  • egg containers
  • polystyrene foam
  • bubble wrap
  • ice-cream sticks
  • sticky tape

Discussion questions

  • What happens when you change the speed at   which the egg and the surface collide? (Do this by dropping the egg from   different heights.)
  • What happens when the egg collides with   something heavy?
  • What elements of your experiment can be applied to people using the roads?

Information for teachers

Improving how well a vehicle protects people in a crash or how well it can avoid a crash in the first place has great potential in helping to reduce trauma on our roads. If every vehicle could be upgraded to the safest in its class, serious trauma would be reduced by a third. The potential is huge.

Some design features that help to protect occupants include:

  • seatbelts and child restraints
  • airbags
  • crumple zones
  • protective cage/rails
  • seat headrests.

Vehicles that are designed well can help absorb and reduce the forces of impact during a crash. This in turn can help lessen the severity of the impact for the car’s occupants.

Victorian curriculum

Technology

Level 5 & 6

Investigate how forces or electrical energy can control movement, sound or light in a designed product or system (VCDSTC034)

Critique needs or opportunities for designing, and investigate materials, components, tools, equipment and processes to achieve intended designed solutions (VCDSCD038)

Generate, develop, communicate and document design ideas and processes for audiences using appropriate technical terms and graphical representation techniques (VCDSCD039)

Apply safe procedures when using a variety of materials, components, tools, equipment and techniques to produce designed solutions (VCDSCD040)

Negotiate criteria for success that include consideration of environmental and social sustainability to evaluate design ideas, processes and solutions (VCDSCD041)

Develop project plans that include consideration of resources when making designed solutions (VCDSCD042)