FOR THE SOLUTION VIDEO TO THE FIRST CHALLENGE, PLEASE SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE!
The 3-page PDF Lesson plan for students and teachers can be downloaded here
Getting from point A to point B can be a problem and can cause problems for our environment and our social surroundings. For example, it can cause heavy traffic, noise pollution or mean arriving late to an appointment. It can also lead to more emissions of greenhouse gases, which affect our climate. In addition, what form of transportation we choose to take has direct economic consequences on our own bank account. So how should the environmental, economic, and social costs of different modes of travel best be weighed and balanced in order to choose the most sustainable option? To master this challenge you’ll need to do just that!
Before you start, here’s a quick explanation of what sustainability means:
After meeting the American partner class at Harrison Preparatory Academy in Lakewood, WA on September 26th, Matt and Valentina officially start their trip around the world with a bicycle ride to Olympia, WA and then on to Portland, OR, a distance of approximately 130 miles or 210 kilometers. How should they get from Portland to their next major stop in San Francisco, CA, a distance of approximately 700 miles or 1,125 kilometers?
Here are the three options
a) by bus b) by bicycle c) by train
Who will succeed in persuading Matt and Valentina to choose one of the three options? Whoever wants to, and finds convincing arguments, can also suggest a combination of 2-3 of the options (a, b, and c).
It all depends on what you suggest! With your teachers, alone, in groups or together with the other partner schools, choose which mode of transportation Valentina and Matt should use to cover the distance and convince them why they should do what you propose! Your teachers will tell you in what form your argument should be made, for instance as an essay or a video.
When you try to persuade them, remember to cover the three core pillars of sustainability: environmental, social and economic sustainability.
And remember: The more you work together, the more likely that your choice will be selected!
To keep in mind
- Greenhouse gas emissions and energy (e.g. gas, diesel, electricity, calories, …)
- Financial costs (e.g. tickets, possible repairs, food, lodging, …)
- Social advantages and disadvantages (e.g. meeting new and interesting people along the way, being able to take a detour, …)
- Cultural opportunities (e.g. is there anything along the way that they should see? How can they best include such opportunities?)
Beyond issues of sustainability, consider how other factors, like weather, luggage, safety, schedule/timing, could be play an important role based on the decision.
Useful information and links
- Greyhound (buses): www.greyhound.com
- Amtrak (trains): www.amtrak.com
- Google Maps provides bicycle routes in beta at: www.maps.google.com
- Weather in the U.S. at: www.weather.gov
- Emissions calculator: www.travelmatters.org/calculator/ (or you can search for emissions calculators to find a different one. Keep in mind that how the emissions are calculated at each site could be very different!)
If you have any questions for Matt or Valentina, post them here (see below) or send us an email! We look forward to hearing what you find out and the journey from Portland to San Francisco!
Valentina and Matt
P.S.: You can follow us on Twitter here: @Forum_ViA!
AND HERE IS THE SOLUTION VIDEO: