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How the Rubber Meets the Road


Source Institutions

    IEEE

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How the Rubber Meets the Road

In this activity, learners explore how engineers design tire treads to increase safety and reliability. Learners are presented with the challenge of designing a new tire tread that will be safe when driving in rainy conditions. Teams design and construct a sample tread out of clay, then test and evaluate the effectiveness of the design, evaluate their results, and present their findings to the group.

Quick Guide


Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
1 to 2 hours

Estimated Materials Cost:
$10 - $20 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan

Language:
English

Materials List (per group of students)


  • Student Resource Sheets
  • Student Worksheets
  • Water
  • Measuring cup and spout
  • Tape
  • Divided basin (or three small containers) for testing and measuring water that gathers at the bottom and on each side
  • Tread depth measuring device (ruler or actual tread measuring device)
  • Paper
  • Cardboard
  • Clay
  • Plastic knives or kid-safe clay carving tools
  • Pencils

Subjects


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Mechanical Engineering
      • Metallurgy and Materials Engineering
      • Transportation Engineering
    • Technology
      • Transportation
  • Mathematics
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Data Analysis
      • Data Collection
  • Physical Sciences
    • Motion and Forces
      • Machines
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results
  • The Nature of Technology
    • Technology and Society
      • Impacts of Technology
    • The Design Process
      • Research and Development
      • Invention and Innovation
      • Problem Solving
      • Troubleshooting and Maintenance

Informal Categories


  • Transportation

Audience


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities

Other


Components that are part of this resource:

Includes alignment to state and/or national standards

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access

By:

Rights:

  • All Rights Reserved, IEEE,

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