Open Data Project - Cars at the Corner
Summary - Students collect data to determine automobile popularity in their local town or region.
Subjects: math, social studies, science
Teacher or first round of students take photos of the medallions of as many automobile brands as possible. Samples below. (Decide whether to add trucks/vans/taxis, etc. or type like SUV, compact, sports, as suits your version of the project.)
- Produce a 1 sided worksheet with the medallions to aid the majority of students to identify the auto manufacturers. Include an "unknown" category to capture the odd brand or missing medallion. Encourage students to add photos to the collection of medallions. (Replace fuzzy photos with crisp, clear ones, too.) Crop and resize the images to standardize the width of the medallion photos to aid making the data collection sheets.
- While students stand at a busy street corner, have a team of four record the brands of automobile that pass in their lane so that no duplication happens. Make tick marks below the medallions. Determine whether the students should count for a specified amount of time (allowing a car/minute determination) or for a specific number of cars passing. Alternately have students visit parking lots at shopping centers to record the brands of cars there.
- Transfer the data to a spreadsheet and use to determine the "popularity" of different automobile brands. Teachers and students may also wish to expand the analysis of the data.
- Consider comparing data with schools in different regions/states/countries.
Medallion Photo Starter Set (zip compressed file of 18 small jpeg photos - 150px wide) Please feel free to use the photos of the medallions for your project. Each of these photos was taken by Algot Runeman for use by students and educators in data projects like the one described on this web page. The photos are licensed with the Creative Commons CC0 license to encourage their use. The medallions themselves are trademarks of the respective automobile companies. Please avoid using the photos in a way which would infringe on the tradmark rights of the auto companies.
Web page prepared for Marco Fioretti for his workshop presentation in June 2013.