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Section 5 - Resources

5.1 Thinking and teaching strategies
5.2 The development of the motor car and bicycle
5.3 Text types
5.4 Inclusion of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs)
5.5 Glossary
5.6 Additional resources

5.5 Glossary

Active transport is a developing strategy which encourages people to increase physical activity as a means of transport

Air pollution*

Air toxics
There are many of these, most of which come from cars and other sources such as cigarette smoke and fuel vapour.

These have serious effects ranging from reduced consciousness and irritation of the respiratory system to increased levels of cancers.

Carbon monoxide
Carbon monoxide which is colourless, odourless and very toxic, comes from incomplete burning, industrial processes and biological decay.

Motor vehicles contribute 80 per cent of the carbon monoxide, other sources contribute 18 per cent, while industry accounts for only two per cent. Other sources include our homes, gardens, schools, shops and service stations.

One of the most significant individual sources of carbon monoxide is cigarette smoke. Scientific research indicates that smokers, and passive smokers (people who breathe air that contains smoke), are exposed to four times more carbon monoxide than people in a smoke-free environment.

Low levels of carbon monoxide can reduce our ability to exercise. Greater levels reduce our ability to concentrate and cause headaches. Very high levels can be fatal.

The health threat of carbon monoxide is greatest for people who suffer from heart disease. There is a correlation between carbon monoxide levels and hospital admissions of elderly people with heart failure.

Haze and fine particles
Haze occurs when many tiny particles from wood smoke and vehicles make our skies brown. Haze occurs mostly on cold, calm winter mornings.

The largest source of haze forming particles in winter is smoke from domestic wood heaters. In autumn and spring particles come from burning off. Exhaust fumes, especially from diesel engines, also contribute to haze.

When we breathe in particles, the larger ones are trapped by the fine hairs inside our noses and windpipes. We get rid of these when we blow our noses or cough. However, the smaller particles can travel deep into our lungs and have serious impacts on our health.

Fine particles are known to worsen the effects of bronchitis, emphysema and asthma. There is also evidence that they cause premature deaths. The main group at risk are those who have chronic respiratory problems. We should also be aware that particles may contain chemicals which can damage our lungs or cause cancer. When particles settle they add a fine film of 'dirt' to the natural and physical environment.

Odour causes a great deal of concern for many people. Generally odours are annoying. In rare cases, the compound causing the odour may be poisonous and lead to illness in people.

Most odour complaints are related to industries which deal with animals or animal by-products. Examples include poultry farms, piggeries, cattle feedlots and tanneries.

Oxides of nitrogen
The most common of these are nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide. These help form photochemical smog and also have significant impacts on health.

The largest man-made source of nitrogen oxides is the combustion of fossil fuels.

Motor vehicles contribute some 50 percent of these emissions and industry contributes about 44 per cent.

Photochemical smog
Photochemical smog, which is often invisible to the naked eye, is characterised by high concentrations of ground level ozone. This tends to happen in late spring, during summer and early in autumn when there is lots of sunlight and high temperatures.

Motor vehicles are the major contributor of NOx pollution, which can lead to photochemical smog. ndustry and other sources also make significant contributions to NOx and HC levels.

Ozone affects the healthy and fit as well as susceptible members of the population such as the elderly, the young and those with respiratory problems.

The effects of ozone include eye, nose and throat irritations, damage to our respiratory tracts, chest tightness and wheezing. There is also evidence that ozone can increase our sensitivity to allergens, trigger asthma attacks and increase our susceptibility to infection.

Ozone can also damage plants and reduce their ability to photosynthesise as well as damage materials such as plastics, rubber, concrete, stone, cloth, dyes and paintwork.

AirWatch is a national initiative that aims to develop environmental awareness in students, specifically about air pollution. Through the AirWatch program, students from around Australia learn about their local air and how to help keep it clean. Students learn to monitor the air, enter their results, view other students' results from around Australia and add their own project work and comments for others to see. For more information, visit the AirWatch web site at:
Alternative fuels

Many people would argue that with oil supplies quickly being used up, we should be looking at alternative fuels for vehicles. One way that this can work is by using the EV (electric vehicle) car. However, there are other alternative fuels. Options are shown below.

A fuel for diesel engines, derived from plant oils (e.g. Canola) or animal fats. TME (see below) is an example of biodiesel fuel. Biodiesel is much safer to handle and significantly reduces exhaust emissions from diesel vehicles when mixed with normal diesel fuel, or as a fuel in its own right.
Compressed natural gas -natural gas is compressed and remains gaseous. Vehicle range is less than for petrol but the cost is lower.
It is often used by bus fleet owners.
Electricity has long been used to power trains, trams and trolley-buses. Battery-powered electric cars have a very long history, but havea limited range.
Produced from renewable bio-mass energy sources. Readily made from sugar or from other crops with greater effort. Vehicles can be modified to operate on a mix of ethanol/petrol or straight ethanol. Inconsistent supply is a major problem at the moment. Higher fuel consumption than petrol - a litre of ethanol has around 70% of the energy of a litre of petrol. Petrol vehicles can operate on up to 10% ethanol without modification, or be modified to operate on up to 100% ethanol.
Hybrid vehicles
A hybrid petrol-electric vehicle uses conventional petrol fuel, but is more economical because it uses a smaller engine and converts some of its energy to electric power for acceleration. Hybrid diesel-electric cars, currently being developed, may be even more economical. Hybrid diesel-electric trains have been used for many years. Electric power can be utilised successfully for commuting and recent developments in hybrid petrol-electric technologies indicate that hybrid vehicles are becoming increasingly viable.
The use of hydrogen is not practical at present because of the difficulty of storing and carrying hydrogen. Like electricity, hydrogen must be produced from another energy source. It can be converted to electricity in a fuel cell. Hydrogen cars and buses are being trialled in Europe and the USA. Hydrogen cars are very expensive, and are expected to remain expensive for at least another decade.
Liquefied natural gas, which is refrigerated and stored at -160 degrees celsius. Offers similar vehicle range to petrol or diesel, but there are currently very few refuelling stations. -
Liquefiedpetroleum gas - the fraction of natural gas that liquifies when compressed and is separated out at the wellhead. Also produced as a by-product of petroleum refining. It is used extensively by taxis and fleets.
This is currently being tested on cars and buses. It has the advantage of causing less pollution but it evaporates quickly and can be intolerant of water.
Potential for solar power has been shown in long-distance trials. Problems exist with fuel supply and storage to allow a wide range of applications.
Tallow methyl ester is produced from animal fat. It can be mixed with diesel fuel and could extend the supply of diesel.
BikeEd is a national bicycle education program provided by transport SA and local government for primary school students aged 9-13 years. The program encourages community and parental involvement and the development of personal safety, cognitive and physical skills specific to cycling. for more information, visit the web site at:


CARisma is an online teacher resource related to the status of the car in our society, with a focus on Internet and critical literacies. Students can work their way through a series of 15 Investigations, with access to online resources, and learn about:

Schools who complete all or part of the CARisma Investigations are encouraged to upload their results for publishing on transport SA's web site.

Car pooling (ride sharing) means that people plan their car travel and use a single vehicle for multiple passengers travelling in the same direction. Smogbusters Day of Change is a competition run in conjunction with the Environment Protection Authority through Air Watch. Students reduce their car trips to and from school for one day, by using alternatives like walking, cycling, car pooling or public transport.

El Nino is characterised by unusually warm ocean temperatures in the equatorial Pacific, along the coasts of Ecuador and northern Peru. This occurs towards the end of the year, giving rise to the reference to "El Nino", the Christmas Child. Every two to seven years, the warming is stronger and often brings rain to these arid countries.

The El Nino effect refers to these warmer episodes of the phenomenon.


Kyoto Protocol is a framework laid down by 38 developed countries to prevent global warming. At a summit held in 1997, the nations joining the treaty agreed to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2012. While different countries have committed to varying levels of reduction, average emission cuts by the Kyoto Agreement are calculated to be about 5.2%.

La Nina episodes are characterized by unusually cold ocean surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific, caused by lower than normal pressure over Indonesia and northern Australia and higher than normal pressure over the eastern tropical Pacific. An effect over the central and eastern equatorial Pacific is that of strong easterly winds.

Road Ready is the primary school curriculum resource of transport SA's Safe routes to School program. road Ready concentrates on the three specific aspects of road safety - passenger safety, pedestrian safety and crossing procedures.

Safe routes to School is an initiative of transport SA, where councils, primary schools and transport SA work together to address safety concerns around school via engineering treatments and a program of road safety education.

SafeTrak is an initiative of TransAdelaide and the south Australian police (SApoL) and is a specialised rail safety curriculum program designed for teachers of middle and upper primary students. topics include promoting safe and appropriate behaviour both on board and around trains, increasing student awareness of dangers and risks, and highlighting the benefits of rail travel. more information can be found by visiting TransAdelaide's web site at:


Travel Behaviour Change (TBC) tools are strategies that encourage people to voluntarily reduce their car use by thinking about how and why they use cars and the benefits of choosing alternative, more sustainable modes of transport. Travel Diaries and the Walking School Bus are examples of Travel Behaviour Change tools.

Travel blending means that people use a combination of travel options to reach a destination. for example, they may choose to walk to the ferry terminal, travel on the ferry and then catch a bus to their destination.

Travel Diaries are an optional Travel Behaviour Change tool for students participating in the TravelSmart program. The Diaries encourage students and their families to become aware of their travel habits, the modes of transport they use and the greenhouse gas emissions their vehicles discharge over the course of a week. Families become aware of ways to reduce their car use by making small, sustainable changes and smarter travel choices, which lead to increased physical activity and fitness levels.

Travel options are modes of transport that can be used other than the car.

Trip Chaining involves planning ahead and using one journey to achieve a number of objectives. for example, the drive home from work may include stopping at the supermarket and taking the videos back before picking up the children from school.

Voluntary taxi is a neighbourhood strategy in which people participate in a roster system to collect and transport a car load of people to a set destination.

Walk Safely to School Day is an international road safety awareness raising campaign, being trialled in schools in conjunction with the Pedestrian council of Australia. The aim of the day is to encourage parents and caregivers to walk to school with their children and, when crossing the road, hold the hand of any child under the age of 10.

Walking School Bus (WSB) consists of two parent volunteers walking a small group of students to school along a designated route, with set pick-ups for the children along the way. The WSB is very popular both interstate and overseas and is a way of reducing car congestion around schools while increasing the physical activity of students.

* From Who cares about our air? A workbook on air pollution for Primary Schools. 2002. Department of Environmental Protection (WA). Perth. pp. 82-83

5.6 Additional resources

Picture books

Allen, P. Watch me. A little bit of cycling madness from Pamela Allen - and an accident.

Awdry, Rev. W. Thomas the Tank Engine. (several titles). Australian Broadcasting corporation, Sydney.

Bates, D. Big Bad Bruce. good story line, shows that bikers are just like other people.

Blake, Q. 1987. Mrs Armitage on Wheels. Random house. london. Mrs Armitage and Breakspear the dog need a fabulous vehicle to get them where they need to go - excellent ideas for discussion and a good ending.

Bodsworth, N. 1989. A nice walk in the jungle. Puffin. Ringwood, Victoria. more things to discover on a walk.

Bond, D. 1993. The granny who wasn't like other grannies. Scholastic. london. Granny tries the ghost train, bus, motorbike, skates - she'll get there any way she can.

Braithwaite, A. Angry Albert. Tie in with getting angry about the way others use the road. Ways to sort out anger.

Browne, A. 1977. A walk in the park. Macmillan, london. All sorts of special things to do and discover, on a walk.

Dann, P. The Wheels on the Bus. words and music of a favourite. fox, M. 1983. possum Magic. omnibus. Adelaide, SA. Adventures with Grandma poss, around Australia on a bike.

Gretz, S. Teddybears get their skates on. Seven teddy bears and Fred the dog go skating in the fun park. 1999. Black. london.

Gretz, S. 1987. Teddybears take the train. Scholastic. gosford, NSW. Being good passengers on the train - the seven teddy bears and Fred the dog, again.

Gordon, G. 1993. Skateboarders. Scholastic, gosford, NSW. Griselda Gravel can't beat the kids skating in the park, so she joins them!

Paterson, A.B. 1976. Mulga Bill's Bicycle. collins, Sydney. Niland illustrations bring this early Australian poem to life.

Wild, M. Mr Nick's Knitting. Travelling on the buses with Mr Nick.

Zelinsky, P. The Wheels on the Bus. Another version of the all time favourite.


From ABC song books

Title Year Song number
Transport options
BMX Rider 1988 42
Free Wheeling 1982 21
The great race 1983 27
My bike 1982 14
Pushbike song 1985 42
You can't roller skate in a buffalo herd 1982 27
Sakaraka the bomb 1988 14
The station wagon 1990 7
Hit the road, Jack 1986 39
Wheels keep turning 1989 9
Leave them a flower 1986 47
look after the trees 1992 24
There's a gum tree 1991 8
The third planet from the sun 1990 40
What have they done to the rain? 1984 44
morning has broken 1985 18
The music of this land 1990 39
The world 1986 51

Teacher Reference

Achieving Excellence: Units of work for Levels P - 8 / Travel. 1991. Directorate of School Education, Victoria.

Anderson, M. & Anderson, K. 1997. Text Types in English 1 ( 2,3 ). Macmillan Education Australia. south Yarra, Victoria.

The Big Kit of Technology. 1992. Telecom Australia. cook, S. 1993. Environmental Impact: linking environmental studies with everyday life. Incentive Publications, Tennessee.

Cooke, D. 1993. The Air We Breathe. collins dove, Melbourne.

De bono, E. 1991. Six Thinking Hats for Schools. Perfection Learning, USA.

I Spy Technology: Practical Ideas for Gender Equity in Primary Technology Studies. 1993. Directorate of School Education, Melbourne.

The GlOBE Programme - International Environmental Education Project.

Healey, K. 1995. Energy Resources: Issues for the Nineties. vol. 32. Spinney Press. Balmain, NSW.

Nicol, S. 2003. Rebel on Wheels. royal Automobile Association, Adelaide, SA.

Ollie Saves the Planet (CD roM) 2003.

Safe Track Student Pack. TransAdelaide & SA police, Adelaide.

Saving Hieronymus: an educational kit for school students on saving energy and the greenhouse effect. (ages 9-11). (kit) 1992. Commonwealth Department of Primary Industries and Energy.

Smith, P. 1992. Transport: Science, Technology and Science Themes for Early Childhood. Lego Dacta.

Stops in Time - History of public transport in south Australia. (picture kit). Media motion, Adelaide, 2003. (Available Adelaide Metro $33).

Sustainable Energy Development Authority (NSW). Who cares about our air? - A workbook on Air pollution for Primary Schools. 2002. Department of Environmental Protection (WA), Perth. (Available: Air Watch, Project Manager, Department of Environment, Level 2, 123 Adelaide Terrace, East Perth WA 6004).

Wood, B. & Jorgensen, G. 1996. Spotlight on Multiple Intelligences (for teachers and children too). Heads together Press. Dalby, Queensland.


Beyond 2000: The Greenhouse Effect and the ozone Layer.

BusZone: the computer video game. (video) 1995. NSW Dept of transport and roads, Sydney. doing the Bus Stop. (video) Vicroads, Melbourne.

EarthWatch: Greenhouse Effect and Energy Resources.

The Safest Way: safe travel to and from school. A Guide for Parents and Carers. (video) 1995. NSW Dept of transport and roads, Sydney. Suzuki, D. The Nature of Things. Martin & rosenthal Education & Canadian Broadcasting corporation.


All sites have been checked in a SINA environment and were active as of July 2003.


Who Cares about our air? - a workbook on Air pollution for Primary Schools is an Air Watch resource available from:

Air Watch
Project Manager
Department of Environment
Level 2, 123 Adelaide Terrace
East Perth WA 6004