About ITE

STEM/STEAM Day Activities

What is STEM/STEAM Day?

STEM/STEAM Day is held annually on November 8. This day inspires kids to explore and pursue their interests in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math. It’s a great opportunity for STEM/STEAM professionals to hold K-12 outreach events. Stay tuned for more information about how you can inspire the next generation in 2024!



In 2023, the focus for STEM/STEAM Day was to educate the next generation of transportation professionals about the Safe System Approach. This is a topic of universal importance to everyone involved with transportation safety.

Downloadable Flyer

What is the Safe System Approach?

The Safe System Approach is a new way of planning and designing for traffic safety that is rapidly becoming more widely adopted by the transportation community. The goal of a Safe System Approach is to design and operate our vehicles and infrastructure in a manner that anticipates human error and accommodates human injury tolerances with a goal of reducing fatal and serious injuries.

When we think about creating a safe transportation system we need to recognize that people make mistakes and the human body can only tolerate a certain amount of physical forces. These principles are central to the Safe Systems Approach.

The Safe System Approach differs from the previous safety practice because its focus is human-centered and fully integrates the needs of all users of the transportation system (pedestrians, bicyclists, older, younger, disabled, etc.). For more information about the Safe System Approach, visit https://www.transportation.gov/NRSS/SafeSystem.


Activity: Can I Stop in Time?

  • Students calculate and measure the distance it takes for a car to come to a complete stop based on various conditions.
  • FHWA notes that speeding is one of the top three most frequent and persistent behavioral safety factors in fatal crashes


Activity: Safety Benefits of Autonomous Driving

  • Student teams conduct online research to learn more about safety benefits accrued at each of the levels of autonomous driving and present their findings to the group.
  • Then each team can debate which level of automation will provide the most safety benefits.


Activity: Streets Have Personality Game

  • Students take on a persona and act out how they would travel on different types of roads. After each turn, the class discusses the implications of the road context and design.
  • FHWA strongly encourages the setting of context-appropriate speed limits and the designing of roads that help to “self-enforce” speed limits.


Activity: Pedestrian Signal Timing

  • Through role playing, students understand how ‘Walk’ and ‘Flashing Don’t Walk’ traffic signal intervals should accommodate pedestrians of all ages with different walking characteristics.

Activity: Points of Conflict

  • Students determine the number of conflict points and the average potential collision angles for different intersection designs


We need your help! – We don’t currently have an activity related to this topic, so we challenge you to create an activity and submit it to us. – If accepted, you and your activity will be featured in a future ITE Spotlite and on the ITE STEM Resources Webpage.


For 2022, ITE STEM Committee encouraged members to hold transportation-themed STEM outreach events throughout the month of November in celebration of National STEM Day. 

The Committee compiled some STEM outreach resources for National STEM Day, including a series of pedestrian safety-themed STEM activities for kids of all ages (developed by the FHWA STEP Program) and general tips for STEM oureach.

Click on the handout picture below to open the PDF of National STEM Day outreach resources:

This is a multi-page flyer that includes a series of activities for kids of all ages as well as information about transportation careers.



National STEM Day Summary