ADOT Kids: Thank an engineer for our roads, bridges during National Engineers Week

By Audrey St. Clair / ADOT Communications

Hey ADOT Kids! Do you love to build, create and solve problems? You should check out the field of engineering! Engineers use their knowledge of math, technology and science to design and build things like roads, bridges and tunnels that help cars and trucks safely get where they need to go.ADOT Kids Word Scramble

National Engineers Week is celebrated each year during the week of President George Washington’s birthday (Feb. 22). Not only was Washington the first president of the United States, he was also an engineer who surveyed land. 

Today’s highways are designed and built by civil engineers and other construction experts, like geotechnical engineers.

Do you wonder how a road gets built? The first part of road construction is the earthwork. Huge earth-moving machines are used to build up a solid foundation. Bulldozers and graders move around the dirt delivered by dump trucks to make a level surface. Gravel is added in layers and machines roll over it to make it flat and compact. 

Here are some of the materials used to build roads:

  • Asphalt uses an oil-based substance called bitumen to make sand and crushed rock stick together like glue. 
  • Concrete also uses sand and crushed rock, but it’s held together with cement. 
  • Steel bars (rebar) are used to reinforce the concrete.

You can download and print this fun, scrambled-word activity about materials used to build roads.

Next time you are riding on a freeway, you can think about the engineers who help build it! Visit azdot.gov/ADOTKids for more activities and videos about engineering!