Day 02 - Smarter Cities (Middle School)

Today your students were introduced to what topics fit within Smarter Cities – you can view them on the attached diagram.  Today’s challenge focused on transportation (specifically reducing traffic congestion) which falls under Infrastructure.  We started out by viewing a few videos on the issues with traffic and analyzing speed differences within the Denver metro area during rush hour.

The students were able to see how our focus of the day related to other smarter initiatives by going on two different IBM field trips to the Command Center and the Green Data Center.  The kids loved seeing all the different computer screens in the Command Center and seeing what was under the floor in the Green Data Center.

Then it was back to the design challenge and prototyping.  I loved seeing the variety in the prototypes created around decreasing traffic congestion.  They included: increasing the number of the lanes vertically (both up high and down under the ground), sensors on stoplights that use the number of cars to determine which direction gets the green light, chains that would move cars forward so less gas would be used during bumper to bumper traffic, and an improved bus experience that would encourage more public transportation use.

  • Some Day 2 Reflections include:
  • Traffic isn’t just related to cars and roads – there are many other different factors
  • Our group worked very well together and included all of our ideas.
  • Our team found it most challenging to figure out how to make the road.
  • Our group took a risk by making a bus that looks better because we didn’t know if people would like it.

All in all, another fabulous day at IBM!