Lesson 2

 Intersection Control

Intersections are one of the more prevalent components of the transportation sector.  The importance of intersections and their appropriate control strategy cannot be overstated.  Intersections are also one of the most accessible components of the transportation sector that can be used for STEM education and as a result Lesson 2 is centered on intersections and various control strategies.  Lesson 2 begins with one of the more basic strategies of intersection control and then guides the students to uncover other forms of control strategies via inefficiencies and other concerns associated with alternate strategies.  The first module in Lesson 2, Module 2-1:  Intersection Mumble Jumble, takes the form of an activity which requires the students to behave as motor vehicles going through an intersection.  The intersection will operate under various control strategies and each strategy will be qualitatively evaluated by the students.  The students are encouraged to make suggestions for improvements.  At the end of this activity, the students walk away knowing and appreciating that the central role of an intersection is to safely manage competing movements in (a common) space and over time. 

 

Intersection Mumble Jumble - Students behaving as motor vehicles at a signalized intersection

 

Lesson 2’s second module builds on the foundation set by the Intersection Mumble Jumble activity and introduces the students to many of the concepts involved in intersection control.  Module 2-2 – Fundamentals of Signal Timing, defines and explains a variety of related terminologies and concepts that are used by transportation engineers.  As these concepts and terminologies are being discussed connections to previous modules are made to reinforce the new material.  During this module a series activities are used to facilitate greater understanding of signal timing concepts and prepare the students to undertake mathematical operations to determine appropriate signal timing plans for an intersection. 

 Links to Lesson 2 Modules