The fun, cooperative classroom experience
exploring the history and future of ground transportation!
My parents took my brothers and me to every state, including Alaska and Hawaii. We traveled in cars, trucks and motor homes. We also traveled on motorcycles and in airlines, boats and my parents’ private airplane. My mom and dad were both pilots. My love for nature and mobility blossoms when teaching and inspiring students.
David Miller, P.E.
From an early age, my parents would take me and my siblings on vacation. We would pack up the car and head somewhere on a road trip. It was always an adventure. We would always play road bingo where we tried to find a particular object and could mark it off the bingo card or the alphabet game where we had to find a word on road sign or building that started with a specific letter. I particularly enjoyed going to bigger cities, like Los Angeles, which had wide highways and interchanges. I was always amazed how they could get all the different roadways to connect. When people asked what I wanted to do when I grew up, I would always say, "I want to design highways and those big interchanges."
I have never lost the enjoyment of road trips. Many of the tourist attractions that I saw as a boy, I have taken my wife and children to see. This country has so much to offer and most places are found only when you get out and take a road trip.
About the Program's Authors
Welcome to the new, interactive, easy and cooperative 4th through 6th grade classroom experience for hands-on learning the histories of and imagining the futures of ground transportation here on earth and soon on distant planets.
This diverse, entertaining and simple-to-teach course begins with students playing an interactive game that challenges and guides them as they discover the answers to clues about the origins of America's trails and the reasons some trails become roads and super highways.
Students use multiple modes of learning techniques including, logic, imagination, art, science, math, and corporative social skills to unravel the mysteries of ground transportation. Students learn that primary trails were not created by humans! Students unwrap the knowledge of how Native American history links to our transportation facilities today and into the future.
This learning program is the creation of Glenn Ballantyne and David Miller. Glenn is an educator and writer and David is a professional highway engineer.
The feedback from these experiences was that students don't have a focused curriculum to learn about why, when, where and how roads come into existence. Because they have no knowledge about roads, they can't even imagine how roadways are technologically evolving, becoming increasingly expensive to build and to maintain. They have no idea who designs roads or where money comes from to support our roads and super highways. They have no idea that scientists, sociologists, planners, engineers, environmentalists, etc are needed to build and operate our ground transportation facilities. From this awareness of an educational shortcoming came the motivation to develop this colorful, inviting and unique learning experience.
Road trips were major adventures in the Miller and Ballantyne households when David and Glenn were children. During those early years, each family enjoyed seeing the passing landscapes, wildlife, cafés, motels, farms, forests and towns. Today, David Miller and Glenn Ballantyne continue to enjoy road trips with friends and family, but now with more awareness of the environment, safety, and the opportunities for future generations.
Everyone Loves A Road Trip is the doorway to the amazingly diverse, yet interconnected tapestry of life that ground transportation creates and sustains. Transportation facilities (including dirt roads to concrete super highways) are essential to the existence of neighborhoods, towns, cities and nations. The more we all know about roads, the smoother we will all travel down the highway of life together.
If you took your students outside to the sidewalk of the street in front of your school and walked together silently, with them making notes of everything they heard and felt, you would gather an amazing amount of information. You could use that information for discussing hundreds of topics from sand in concrete to the kinds of lenses in traffic cameras.
The progress of people throughout history has changed basic slow trails to higher speed and complex, technology added Super Highways. As the needs of the people change and increase, the demands put upon ground transportation facilities change and increase along with them. As our vision and technology advance we have more opportunity to make our roads safer, faster, quieter, cleaner, longer lasting and more aesthetically beautiful. We must prepare our future scientists, engineers, politicians, computer specialists, environmentalists, sociologists and finance experts, who are now children of your classroom.
The purpose of Everybody Loves A Road Trip is to engage students in thoughtful activities that create minds open to critical thinking. This exciting program takes each student down the "road" of history to when rivers and streams supported plant and animal life. Animals blazed the first trails, followed by Native Americans, pioneers and eventually colonization and urban sprawl.
As your students participate in the activities of this course the scientific, historical, social and political factors that ultimately shape our ground transportation network, from dirt streets to elevated Super Highways will become clear and connected.