Click below to read a summary of the Roads project ideas for Bronze, Silver, and Gold awards; or to go back to project ideas click here.
Measure how far pollution spreads from the roadside
The fumes from cars and trucks exhausts contain soot - small particles of carbon. Work out a way to collect the soot from different places and find out how far it spreads. Does the soot travel a long way away from the roadside?
NOTE: You will need to take samples near the side of a road; ask an adult to accompany you and take care with road safety at all times. Wear reflective jackets or other highly visible clothing.
Investigate tyres and friction on different types of road surface
Tyres need to provide good grip on the road surface, to hold the vehicle securely in all conditions and on corners. This is traction but it comes at the price of rolling resistance – friction. And the more friction, the more energy is required to move the vehicle. This project is confined to friction, which is usually measured as a coefficient. Before starting the experiments you should find out what is meant by traction, static friction, rolling friction
Compare the traction and friction properties of different tyres
You should investigate physical properties of the tyres and tyre tread patterns (such as static and dynamic friction and traction) and chemical properties (such as resistance to perishing due to sunlight and/or freezing; how resistant it is to chemicals).