Summary of Smart Motorways 2: technologies making roads safer and more sustainable | NZ teachers, enrol in this LEARNZ virtual field trip

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Summary Page: Smart Motorways 2: technologies making roads safer and more sustainable
Term 1 starting 1 March 2016.

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A 2016 LEARNZ virtual field trip.

For related LEARNZ field trips from NZTA go to Memorial Park and Waterview Connection. Also visit the NZTA Education portal.

We all want to get where we're going easily, safely, with less congestion and, enjoy the ride. Yes?

Well ... there is a way to make that happen. On this field trip you're going to see how to make a motorway smart. Yes smart! Smart enough to help drivers arrive at their destinations safely, more quickly and with less stress!

On this trip you're off to Wellington to see how an existing busy motorway is being made smart. You will go behind the scenes to see how the Ngauranga Gorge to Aotea Quay section of Wellington's urban motorway is being converted into New Zealand's first smart motorway. This is the second of two field trips giving you the chance to see the 'smarts' being designed, the motorway changed and the project completed by the end of March 2016.

This trip fits well with big ideas like transport, community, citizenship, economic development, teamwork, sustainability, energy, and national identity. We'd love to get your students involved with this nationally significant project. Enrol now.

In years to come you will be able to say "I was part of that project!" Note weather and other factors out of our control may influence activities during the field trip.

To prepare for this field trip, LEARNZ content will support inquiry into:

  • pathways (ara) and their evolution to roadways
  • the significance of the roading network as an economic and community asset owned by all New Zealanders
  • roads of national significance
  • what is a smart motorway
  • what is a smart driver
  • the interconnectedness of modern transport systems with urban design, local connectivity, energy use, air quality, ecology, lighting, drainage ...

During the field trip you will:

  • see Shelley's tweets on twitter
  • experience what it is like to drive on the smart motorway
  • revisit where the project was by the end of the first virtual field trip
  • investigate the modifications of the Thorndon overbridge and see how it has been shifted and seamlessly integrated with the roadway
  • check out the progress on the new median strip and find out why it is needed and how it is better than the old one
  • visit an advertising agency and find out about their work with the smart motorway
  • find out about research to do with smart motorways
  • do a questionnaire with a class at a Wellington school
  • do a questionnaire in your own class
  • analyse questionnaire results for New Zealand, with experts
  • visit the design team's office and see how all the threads of this project tie together
  • meet some of the people employed to design and construct the roadway
  • get permission to enter the construction area and see the gantries and signage being installed
  • see the latest technology and construction methods being used
  • sit in the driver's seats of large construction machinery
  • identify the key stages and resources required to turn the existing motorway into a smart motorway
  • consider how this 'first in New Zealand' smart motorway might influence future roading projects?
  • put questions to and meet some of the workforce including programmers, modellers, engineers, construction workers, project managers and designers

After the field trip, challenge yourself to:

  • make a transport choice for one trip that reduces congestion on our roads
  • use what you have learned to make your own online questionnaire about people's attitudes to roading, driving or transport in general
  • take one trip in a car on a multi-lane road without changing lanes and see if there is any difference in your travel time or driver stress

Where you will go

In 2016, you will fly into Wellington airport then drive on State Highway 1 through the Mount Victoria Tunnel, past the Basin Reserve, through the new Arras Tunnel under the Pukeahu National Memorial Park, through the Terrace Tunnel and on to the Ngauranga Gorge. You have special permission to visit the control centre for the motorway and, after your induction, to visit the construction sites along the busy motorway. As you'd expect these are dangerous places with thousands of cars and heavy trucks zooming close to the working sites. Be careful!!

Teacher comments about previous LEARNZ Smart Motorways field trips

"The smart motorway is a great example of looking at significant issues, with a Future Focus, that involve our citizens and how the problem of traffic is being tackled globally. It was great to have the activity sheets to record our thinking while we were listening to the audio conference." Maria Church from Bellevue School Newlands

"We are studying Structures and Smart Motorways tied in well with our schoolwide topic. The field trip made the children think at a deeper level and apply knowledge gained to other areas of the curriculum. The activities and videos supported the context well. The children enjoyed sharing what they had learned on the Field Trip with their families at home." Natalie Looney from Fitzroy School

"Covers real life examples for the maths learning area. The field trip encourages independence and enterprise and promotes confidence. It also allows learners to collaborate and work in a group." Rakesh Prakash from Alfriston College

Go to more comments from teachers about previous LEARNZ field trip


The field trip is a rare opportunity for students to see how a major technology project works. The trip will bring to life the technology curriculum by examining the project brief (what was the need?), getting involved with planning for practice, exploring the use of modelling, viewing Smart Motorways as a technological system, and investigating how Smart Motorways are a response to social change and how we, as drivers, respond to Smart Motorways.

Social Studies

The field trip is a window on the issue of road congestion and safety. As road users students will be able to make comparisons between their own experiences and the intended outcomes of the Smart Motorway. Exploring changes in their own local roads offers opportunities for active citizenship and authentic learning.

Learning Areas/Levels

Social Sciences: Geography Level 6, Social Studies Levels 2-5; Social Studies: Identity, Culture and Organisation Levels 2-5, Continuity and Change Levels 2-5, Place and Environment Levels 2-5

  • Vision, Values, Key Competencies, Principles, Literacy and Numeracy

    By their nature, LEARNZ field trips integrate with the higher levels of the NZ Curriculum. Participation encourages development of the Key Competencies around Thinking, Using language, symbols and text, Managing self, Relating to others, and Participating and contributing. Teachers indicate this in testimonials. LEARNZ field trips have support and activities for Literacy, with opportunities to develop skills in Listening, Reading and Viewing and in Speaking, Writing and Presenting. More about LEARNZ as a Reading Resource and student writing opportunities with LEARNZ. Select LEARNZ field trips have support and activities for Numeracy, encouraging the development of skills in Number and Algebra, in Statistics and in Geometry and Measurement.

  • ESOL

    As well as providing visual and audio material and access to real experiences, LEARNZ links well to ESOL Principles, especially Principle 3 Maintain and make explicit the same learning outcomes for all the learners. How can I make the lesson comprehensible to all students? How can I plan the learning tasks so that all the students are actively involved? Do my students understand the learning outcomes? Principle 4 Begin with context embedded tasks which make the abstract concrete. How can I put these concepts into a concrete context?

  • What's in a Field Trip

    Every LEARNZ field trip has its own newly-built, self-contained web site ready for integration into your teaching and learning programme. Teacher Support has curriculum integration, resources, newsletters, support and evaluation. Prepare Students provides opportunities for student inquiry on two sets of image-rich background pages at reading levels 2 years apart, (students can click to have those pages read to them out loud), online interactive and other activities to check students' understanding, and a glossary. During the field trip there are daily additions such as a diary, video clips, profiles of the experts (ideal careers education), a photo gallery, live tweets on twitter, and ambassador (mascot) page updates. Live web conferences on our enterprise-level Zoom platform scales to enable multiple teachers to manage students putting prepared and spontaneous questions to experts (recorded for replay). After the field trip, teachers are encouraged to take further action with their class in the community or to go on a related field trip, or to invite a guest speaker, or to present what they have learned to a school assembly or wider group. Teachers also fill in an online evaluation (more about reflective practice), the field trip prize winner is drawn, and the final newsletter is sent. Content remains online for continued use.

  • How teachers use LEARNZ

    View some of over 1,000 teacher comments in testimonials. There are two main ways teachers use a LEARNZ virtual field trip with their class. Firstly, a LEARNZ field trip is ideally an immersive, engaging, synchronous, online learning experience with real-time components and a myriad of opportunities for teachers and students. Secondly, and less ideal but still effective, a LEARNZ field trip can be used as a retrospective experience where the resources such as photos, text, activities, videos and audioconferences/web conferences comprise a unique collection of authentic, contemporary New Zealand teaching and learning material.

  • What Now

    Not Registered with LEARNZ? Are you a New Zealand Registered or Provisionally-Registered Teacher on the Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand website? Register free with LEARNZ Now.

    Already Registered with LEARNZ and activated your account? Log in to your personal MyLEARNZ Control Panel and then enrol your classes at no cost in field trips. Note: Enrolment is only needed for the current and future year's field trips.

    Registered but need help? Check your email for activation instructions - contact us if the message did not make it to your email inbox. Log on to MyLEARNZ. Go to Using LEARNZ.

    Teachers - Lost your password? Recover it here.

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Introductory video for this field trip: Watch, embed or share on Vimeo or click below to watch here.

New to LEARNZ? Go to Using LEARNZ.

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Shelley the LEARNZ Field Trip Teacher.

Meet Shelley, your LEARNZ Field Trip Teacher

community involvement, construction, cultural process, economy, environmental impacts, government, identity, infrastructure, land use, NZ Transport Agency, people and the environment, perspectives, road safety, roads, sustainability, technological innovation, technology, transport, values, viewpoints, Wellington