Zoom Zoom – welcome to 55 mph day!
Driving may be a long way off for you – or just around the corner. Perhaps you have been driving for years and years. I bet whether you are a driver or an observant passenger you are aware of speed limit signs.
Did you know we have a National speed limit in the United States? Well…we did from 1974 until 1995 when Congress gave control back to the individual states.
The EMERGENCY HIGHWAY ENERGY CONSERVATION ACT was signed into law on January 2, 1974 by President Richard Nixon. This lowered the speed limit to 55 MPH nationally in hopes drivers would be more fuel efficient.
The goal was to reduce gas use by about 2% and get gas prices lower. It was also believed the lower speed would make roads safer. – The jury is still out on if the 55 MPH law had an impact on prices or safety, but it does reduce fuel consumption.
Try it… With the modern technology cars come equipped with today it is easy to calculate how much fuel you use. On one tank, drive at your State’s posted speed limit. Record how many miles you are able to get out of a tank. On the next tank, drive only 55 MPH and see how much MORE you get out of the tank. This writer will admit there are many variables to this “experiment” – but faster speeds use more fuel.
Here are some activities you can do in your homeschool or classroom:
1. Map the speed limits for each state
2. Race die cast cars (brand name match box or hot wheels) and measure the distance traveled. Remember to keep the variables consistent. Ramps of same height for example.
Build your own car with this cool kit:This kit come with 3 vehicles, a train, plane and a car… you attach the axles and wheels to make working vehicles, then decorate. Building a pinewood derby car is not for the faint of heart – but a worth endevor! This book has patterns to help. You can also get a kit:
Visit a car museum in your area. Here are links to a few in major cities. If you can’t visit, use this links to do a virtual tour of their websites and online exhibits!
The Henry Ford – Dearborn Michigan
Petersen Automotive Museum – Los Angeles
Gilmore Car Museum – Barry County Michigan
National Automobile Museum – Reno Nevada
Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum – Indiana
The Ft. Lauderdale Antique Car Museum – Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Want to find more? Here is a Google search for Car Museums. Along the top it has images of many many museums!
A few more activities you can do related to the day:
Depending on the ages of your learners – take them out for a drive, or display a speedometer so they can see how it tracks how fast a car goes!
Design a Speed Limit sign for your Home or School based on the vehicles used there (bikes, trikes, toy cars, etc) . Download the DIY worksheets below.
If you would like the COMPLETE set of January 2 worksheets: Map, State mph facts, answer key and design your own Speed Limit signs, they are available in one handy download for just $1.25 in my TEACHERS PAY TEACHERS Store.
I hope to see you next time for another fun Homeschool Holiday to explore- because there is always something to learn!
Please note that I am an Amazon Affiliate and as such the links I post are affiliate links.
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