The STEPWISE team decided to produce a 'promotional video' focusing on the merits of bicycle commuting to work, school and play, etc. It is hoped that this video will be uploaded to YouTube and also shown in schools - perhaps as a downloadable video file. The arguments for and against bicycling in the video will draw on each of the aspects of the STEPWISE framework. To produce this video, we need team members to research one or more aspects of the framework as it/they pertain(s) to promotion of bicycling.

The spaces below can be edited by any member. When inserting ideas for the Bicycling video, please categorize them into the different dimensions of science learning. Previous ideas for Biking videos can be found here.

Nature of Science (NoST)

NoST is, basically, a description of characteristics of practices and products of fields of science and technology and people who work in such fields. Some examples, regarding NoST in bicycle science and technology (S&T) were:
  • Bicycle engineering integrity may be sacrificed due to profit incentive
  • Bicycle engineering
  • Crime may drive engineering of bike locks
  • Extreme sports may drive engineering of bicycle types

Members of the group have volunteered to elaborate these and other NoST aspects of bicycle S&T:
Reinventing the Wheel
A Fresh Look at Steering Geometry
Bicycle Locks
Tin Bicycle - The Design Contest Motivation
Social Construction of Technology: Structural Considerations
Technological Impacts and Determinism
Bike Troubles as Engineering Challenges.

NoST Ideas for the Bicycling Video


STSE Education

STSE refers to characteristics of relationships among fields of science and technology and societies and environments (more information about STSE relationships). There are some fairly 'benign' relationships among STSE. For example, that development of certain scientific knowledge (e.g., about cell structure and function) depend on development of certain technologies (e.g., microscopes). Perhaps most importantly, the emphasis in STSE Education is on problematic relationships amongst STSE. Many of these pertain to problematic effects of products of science and technology on societies and environments; such as: pollution from cars and planes, etc.; toxic chemicals in foods and toys, etc. Some examples, regarding STSE and bicycles were:
  • Eco-footprints of different forms of transportation
  • Health benefits of different activities, including bicycling
  • Variety of bike costs, depending on quality
  • Demographics and commuting means
  • Poor bike safety education, due to preference of other forms of transport

Members of the group have volunteered to elaborate these and other STSE relationships relating to bicycles:

STSE Ideas for the Bicycling Video


Skills Education

This refers to skills, strategies and habits of mind that would enable students to direct science inquiry and/or technology design projects and related communications (more information can be found here). Skills Education suggests that processes of inquiry and design are one directional; it is missing many of the social contexts of knowledge production and dissemination. Some examples regarding inquiry, design and communication skills and bicycles were:
  • Questioning, hypothesizing
  • Investigation/inquiry design
  • Data management skills
  • Data interpretation skills

Members of the group have volunteered to elaborate these and other skills relating to bicycle science and technology:
This paper describes the data collection and analysis for a project on 'bike types' for elementary students and offers extension activities/projects for students at the end of the paper.
Skills for Science Inquiry & Technological Design provides some insights into project design, however there may be various other skills needed and used
Bike Engineering This video (although it is produced by a bike manufacturer) gives students idea of the sort of skills needed for science inquiry
Bike Like a Horse A video of a concept bike emphasizing originality or thinking outside the box- an essential skill in science and engineering

Skills Ideas for the Bicycling Video


Students Projects

These are 'student-directed' (students design procedures) and 'open-ended' (there are many conclusions, decided by students ) science inquiry and/or technology design projects and related communications. Students have freedom to choose topics and it is hoped that many will relate to WISE problems. Some examples of projects students could conduct about bicycles were:
  • Survey people for commute habits (using data analysis, graphs, etc) and analysis to determine factors in transportation choices
  • Design and then test helmets of different designs (related to gr 7/8 structures, gr 10 motion/physics unit)
  • Petition/campaign (for more bike lanes, bike awareness, bike safety, bike racks). Send letter to City Hall or MP of the area.
  • Organize role playing of a Town Council debate around bicycles (more lanes, bike racks on buses, etc) - roles could include stakeholders such as bus drivers, car drivers, students, parents, police, cyclists
  • Research bicycle usage across the world, especially places where bicycles dominate as the first mode of transportation (ex. Asia vs. North America, Netherlands). Examine pollution rates, infrastructure, etc.).
  • Study different categories of bicycle use (mountain biking, commuting, stunt, BMX)

Members of the group have volunteered to elaborate inquiry and/or design projects relating to bicycle science and technology:

Here is the first try at a project along this line. The assessment has to match regular classes ( it is an enhanced class). Students are being marked on their own posters which have already been handed in but in groups of 4-5 will be presenting their "eco-bikes" to the class this Monday (the presentation is not being assessed so I hope the quality remains high) and the class will decide which bike would be the best design for a commuter-cycle. This fits in with required marking guidelines (no group marks can be assessed unless each person has a clearly designated and separate section which can be assessed.) I may videotape if it looks like they will be worth it ! We will not really be "going active" but I hope the design project opens their eyes to such possibilities. Mike W

Students' Projects Ideas for the Bicycling Video


WISE Activism

This refers to actions students take to promote improvements to the wellbeing of individuals, societies and environments. Actions students might take include: educating others, lobbying members of government, business, educational administration for policy changes, carrying out actions that might have direct impact on WISE, such as creating a more natural ecological environment around the school or elsewhere. Some examples of actions students could take regarding bicycling were:
  • Individuals might choose to use bicycles for environmental, health, or other reasons
  • Promote bicycle use in their schools, neighbourhoods, or wider communities
  • Hold special events like bike rallies or protests
  • Lobby municipal government for bike lanes, bike lockers, etc
  • Teach bike safety

Members of the group have volunteered to elaborate WISE activist activities for promotion of bicycling:

  • To elaborate on the list above, students can hold a 'spin-a-thon' at the school (we did this at White Oaks in order to raise money for the "inside ride' for cancer research in which one of our students was participating in). Stationary bicycles were brought in and teams of students fundraised and cycled throughout the day (ie. each cycled for a half hour). For the purposes of this project, funds can be raised to purchase used bicycles (perhaps with the partnership of the local police department as they hold bicycle auctions for the public). The used bikes can then be donated to local elementary students or those in need within the school in efforts to promote cycling to school.
  • Petition local GO train stations to allow for bicycles on trains at ALL times of the day (they are not allowed at rush hour) or to dedicate a car on the GO train for cyclists and their bikes.
  • Bike Valets Lobby local festival committees to consider the use of bike valets
  • Promote "bike to school week" within your school (i.e. first period classes can challenge each other to determine who has the most cyclists). Challenge other schools as well. Promotion can include posters, student announcements on PA system, student volunteers travelling to classes to promote the cause, playing themed music on the PA before school (i.e. eco-songs to promote the fact that it is a sustainable means of transportation)
  • Bisit a local elementary school and partner up with a youngster to promote bike safety (partner with the local police department or related bike safety organization)
  • Petition and present at a town hall meeting for the construction of bike lanes on newly paved streets.
  • Lobby/petition/write an editorial in local newspaper to ensure that all town buses have bike racks
  • Start a cycling club at school
  • Set up a poster board display in the cafeteria to promote the benefits of cycling. Invite someone from a local bike shop to come in and talk to students as well. Display various types of bikes etc. Create a link on your school website to promote benefits of cycling and to promote bike-related activities
  • Challenge teachers to implement cycling in their curriculum!
  • Pedal-Powered Technology A NEAT LINK!! this organization in Vancouver promotes the use of 'pedal-powered technology'. It offers various programs (ie. Youth Earn-a-bike, workshops on maintaining and fixing your own bike). Check it out!
  • Start a recycle-a-bicycle program in your area
  • Investigate any workshops that are offered locally for biking skills
  • Critical Mass: a world-wide movement to promote bicycling. Members are activists, attempting to reclaim public space - and to assert more rights for bicyclists over auto-drivers; refer to CriticalMassInfo. Toronto has its own movement: TorontoCranks.
  • PEDAL fixes up old bicycles and gives them away to people in need. They also teach people how to repair bikes, as a way of keeping them from being discarded.

You may think your actions are meaningless and that they won't help, but that is no excuse, you must still act. -- Gandhi

WISE Activism Ideas for the Bicycling Video


Products Education

This refers to the products of activities of scientists and engineers including: laws, theories, and inventions. The group suggested several of these relating to bicycles and bicycling:
  • Physics of materials in helmets
  • Physics of collisions, with helmets, bikes, etc.
  • Physics of tire pressure, friction, etc.
  • Physics of fluid motion; re: travels through air streams

The three main areas of products education are:

1. The Bicycle

2. The Human Body

3. The Environment


'Story-line' Ideas


1. Tortoise and hare race: tortoise is bike, hare is polluting car
· NoST: during conversation between bike and car: bragging about how made OR news announcer: gives background info on bike and car (design features)
· Skills: News announcer: shows graphs etc
· Projects:
· WISE activism: (includes STSE) spectators cheering for car, but then realize bad aspects AND Bells on Bloor
· Products:

2. Documentary that shows students doing a project, e.g. doing a survey: the questions they ask will address NoST, STSE, etc. (e.g. Why do/don't people bike? Who is/is not biking? (socioeconomic class, geographic location, in the past NoST, views/opinions STSE)
Skills: Data management
· The questions that STEPWISE members come up with could be the questions of the survey (re: NoST, STSE)

3. Inquiry/investigation:
· How prevalant are bike racks, etc?
· How would you build a bike that fits certain criteria
· E.g. materials, environmental impact

4. Show environmental problems at beginning (e.g. pollution), then get kids to be questioning: how can we solve this? Etc.
5. a) Mr. Bike – trace his ancestors. E.g. first scene start with
b) Mr. Helmet explains how helmet protects head (student project)

'Bike' vs 'Car'

Tom Seliotis came up with the idea of basing short video-clips, perhaps a series of them, on the Mac-PC ads . Tanya Williamson had her students develop scripts for such clips. They are attached: .

Gas-guzzling Spoofs?

A colleague of mine (Larry), Dr. Mike Bowen at Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, NS, has asked his student-teachers to produce instructional videos. Many are quite creative. I like this one: Build-A-Baby, Inc . Perhaps members of our group could produce such a video spoofing use of gas-guzzling vehicles, such as trains, planes and automobiles - and promoting biking, walking, inline skating, etc.