Road Safety through Physics
In S1-S3 we introduce all the Physics of Mechanics and Dynamics through a Road Safety theme. We teach speed, velocity, distance, displacement, stopping, braking and thinking distances through a game called Chicken Run where students have to predict the stopping distances of a car under various conditions and speeds. In S3 students use the knowledge they've gained to complete a simulated Road Crash that was put together by Police Scotland (Dumfries and Galloway). This is laid out to 1/3 scale and the students work with Police Scotland and through the notes to identify the cause of a road crash. The students have to use scale, the equations of motion, make measurements and predict what is happening. They are introduced to the term Rationalisation and are shown the Monkey Business video indicating how poor witness statements can be. The Police go through the evidence and students search for this from what is set before them. The police then go through the results and indicate the need for safety, that evidence will convict any driver who is trying to get away with a road traffic incident. Students are greatly empowered by the experience. In S5 the Police Scotland Road Crash Investigators give a talk to the students about a local road crash and go through how the evidence was collected. Students then have the opportunity to complete their own investigation with an A1 plot of a more complicated incident which requires momentum calculations as well as the equations of motion. A group of students also formed into a Road Safety Team and surveyed parents and teachers about their confidence and awareness of driving in bad conditions and are working on a plan to provide resources and education to assist drivers feel more confident and drive safely.