Lesson Focus

Lesson focuses on how engineers design tire treads to increase safety and reliability. Students are presented with the challenge of designing a new tire tread that will be safe when driving in rainy conditions. Student teams will 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 class.


Download:

Full Lesson Plan
Student Worksheets

Translated Lessons:


Age Levels:

8 – 18

Objectives

  • Learn about engineering design.
  • Learn about planning and construction.
  • Learn about teamwork and working in groups.

Anticipated Learner Outcomes

As a result of this activity, students should develop an understanding of:

  • engineering
  • problem solving
  • teamwork

Lesson Activities

Students learn how tire tread patterns are developed and changed over time to achieve safety and efficiency in a range of driving conditions. Students work in teams to develop a new tread pattern to prevent hydroplaning in heavy rain — first on paper and then by building a clay model. Teams evaluate their own systems and that of other students, and present their findings to the class.

Resources/Materials

  • Teacher Resource Documents (attached)
  • Student Worksheets (attached)
  • Student Resource Sheets (attached)

Alignment to Curriculum Frameworks

Curriculum alignment sheet is included in PDF.