Maths KS2: Balancing the costs and savings of travelling by bike

Stefan Gates explores reducing car use by comparing a journey in a taxi and pedalling a rickshaw to Bristol train station.

On the rickshaw his passenger is cycle expert, Ian Tsang, who directs him to the first cycle path in England from Bath to Bristol that has up to 3000 people using it each day.

He then sees a brand new cyclepath being built and meets project manager, Francis Mann.

He explains the carbon cost of building the new cyclepath and gives Stefan the figures for carbon savings when someone goes by bike instead of by car.

Stefan and Ian use the information to calculate how long it will take to repay the carbon cost based on how many people change from car to bike – after that it’s all carbon saving.

Stefan then visits Chester Park Primary School, and joins students who are collecting data and calculating the percentage of people who walk, cycle or come by car to the school.

They compare their figures with the Bristol City Council's figures to see if the Bike-it scheme at the school is working.

This clip is from the series Ecomaths.

Teacher Notes

Ask children to conduct their own travel-to-school survey to see how eco-friendly your school is.

Get them to compare your school with Chester Park and ask the children to make recommendations for a campaign to reduce car use for the school journey.

How can you present the data to change the hearts and minds of children and families to think about eco-friendly travel?

Create a classroom story about how your local council wants to build a cycle path to cut down on car use.

Using a local map of your area and information on carbon saving per kilometre, ask the children to propose a route.

Work out how many car trips and how much carbon would be saved.

The class could then present their findings to the whole school or to a member of the local council.

This project will involve looking at travel habits, collecting data and interpreting this data as you see the children doing at Chester Park.

Curriculum Notes

This clip is suitable for teaching Maths at KS2 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and 2nd Level in Scotland.

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