Lesson Focus

Lesson focuses on how engineers have developed and improved traffic management over time by engineering and re-engineering the traffic light. Students work in teams to design a new traffic light system to meet the needs of a potential client. They must devise a system or technical enhancement to accommodate a busy bicycle lane and roadway that
intersects a hospital emergency room entrance. As a team they devise their planned improvements, draw a design of the improved traffic signal, develop a written and verbal presentation to the client, present their designs to the class, provide feedback on other team’s designs, and share observations about re-engineering.


Full Lesson Plan
Student Worksheets

Age Levels:

8 – 18


  • Learn about traffic engineering.
  • Learn about engineering design and redesign.
  • Learn how engineering can help solve society’s challenges.
  • Learn about teamwork and problem solving.

Anticipated Learner Outcomes

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

  • traffic engineering
  • engineering design
  • teamwork

Lesson Activities

Students explore how engineers redesigned or re-engineered the traffic signal over time to enhance its functionality. They work in teams to develop a proposal to a prospective client for a new enhancement to the traffic signal that accommodates both a bicycle lane and the entrance to a hospital emergency entrance for ambulances. They consider patenting options, how the new design might impact costs, and present their ideas to the client (class).


  • Teacher Resource Documents (attached)
  • Student Resource Sheet (attached)
  • Student Worksheet (attached)

Alignment to Curriculum Frameworks

Curriculum alignment sheet is included in PDF.