ADOT Kids

Hey, ADOT Kids! Try our word scramble, learn some interesting facts about license plates!

Hey, ADOT Kids! Try our word scramble, learn some interesting facts about license plates!

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Hey, ADOT Kids! Try our word scramble, learn some interesting facts about license plates!

Hey, ADOT Kids! Try our word scramble, learn some interesting facts about license plates!

By Audrey St. Clair / ADOT Communications
September 5, 2023
A graphic with a word scramble on license plates.

Here’s a little history: When the automobile was invented, there were so few of them that license plates were not necessary. As cars started to outnumber the horse and buggy, many states began to require license plates to identify the car and owner. 

In 1901, New York was the first state to require owners to register their cars. The first plates were homemade, with only the letters of owner’s initials, no numbers. Since there were no transportation departments (like ADOT) to provide them, car owners had to make their own license plates by hand, out of things like leather or metal. For a couple of years (around 1931), Arizona made license plates out of copper, which was eventually replaced by steel. You can read more about Arizona’s copper plates in this blog.

Arizona is one of the few states that now allow the new digital plates that convert letters and numbers into pixels on a digital screen. Digital license plates can show messages, like if the car had been stolen, or other alerts.

Do you want to impress your friends with some license-plate trivia? You will never see the letters I, O, Q or U printed on standard Arizona license plates. Why? Because those letters could be confused with the numeral one or be seen as zeros on a fast-moving vehicle. (If you see an “0” on a standard plate, it is a zero.)  Since license plates are used to identify cars and trucks by police officers, it’s important that they are easy to read.

And here’s what you’ve been waiting for…another fun ADOT Kids activity! The Scrambled Word License Plate game features some of the state’s newest specialty license plates with scrambled Arizona-themed words (and some hints, if needed)!  See if you can unscramble all eight words! You can find out more about ADOT’s specialty plates here. Curious about how ADOT makes license plates? Read more here.

Check out azdot.gov/ADOTKids! ADOT Kids is a website created to spark children’s curiosity in how things work and what makes things go, tapping into their interest in science, technology, engineering and math in a fun way!  ADOT Kids has lots of free, downloadable activities like mazes, word games, coloring sheets, links to videos and more!   

ADOT Kids: Test your skills of observation and learn how ADOT builds a freeway

ADOT Kids: Test your skills of observation and learn how ADOT builds a freeway

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ADOT Kids: Test your skills of observation and learn how ADOT builds a freeway

ADOT Kids: Test your skills of observation and learn how ADOT builds a freeway

By Audrey St. Clair / ADOT Communications
August 22, 2023
Animated drawings of two construction sites.

As with any important project (think writing a report for school), the first thing to do is plan. ADOT starts planning for new roadways by studying where a new roadway is most needed.

Next, ADOT engineers begin to create the detailed project plan. Some roads need bridges or overpasses as part of their design. Can you think why a bridge or overpass might be needed?

You can read blogs on our website that detail some parts of the construction process, like pre-wetting, designing a water drainage system, partnering and communicating with those involved, oh, and our favorite…blasting rocks and moving dirt! This is called earthwork and it helps to build a solid foundation. 

Then it’s time for the paving of the road, using asphalt and concrete. Workers make cuts—called joints—between the concrete slabs to allow them to expand and contract with changing temperatures without breaking.

Building a new freeway can take many years to complete, from the planning to adding the final signage and pavement markings. Did you know that the white stripes on the freeway are actually 10 feet long? They look shorter as you drive by them. It takes a lot of different types of workers from civil, bridge, environmental and road engineers, to construction equipment operators, and many others. Let’s not forget the maintenance teams who work to keep the freeways in good shape once they are built.

View or download and print this fun ADOT Kids activity “Spot the Differences” which is sure to challenge your skills of observation. Play with a friend and see who can find all seven differences first.

Check out azdot.gov/ADOTKids! ADOT Kids is a website created to spark children’s curiosity in how things work and what makes things go, tapping into their interest in science, technology, engineering and math in a fun way!  ADOT Kids has lots of free, downloadable activities like mazes, word games, coloring sheets, links to videos and more!   

ADOT Kids: I spy … a red bird, coyote, snake ... “BINGO!”

ADOT Kids: I spy … a red bird, coyote, snake ... “BINGO!”

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ADOT Kids: I spy … a red bird, coyote, snake ... “BINGO!”

ADOT Kids: I spy … a red bird, coyote, snake ... “BINGO!”

By Bill Lamoreaux / ADOT Communications
August 3, 2023
A bingo card with various Arizona specialty license plates.

Hey ADOT Kids (and parents)!

Are you taking one more road trip before school starts back up? If so, we have a fun game for the whole family to play in the car (except the driver!). License plate bingo is easy and fun to play. We have a link to the playing cards with 24 Arizona specialty license plates. The printable sheet allows up to four people to play at a time. When you see one of these plates, you mark it on your card. First person to find 5 plates across, down or diagonal wins. Download and print a license plate BINGO game card!

There are nearly 100 different specialty plates that you can look for on the roads everyday. Some of these plates include the professional sports teams like the Cardinals, Coyotes, Diamondbacks and Suns. There are many other types of plates too. There are educational plates, plates for pets and animals, military and veteran plates, and even college and university plates. 

Specialty plates are not just fun to spot as you are riding across town, city, state or even across the country, they also give much needed money to charities that help kids and adults in Arizona. 

These plates represent lots of charities that are working to help Arizona communities in many different ways. They support educational and sports programs designed to improve the lives of children, health, inclusion of individuals with and without disabilities, wellness and economic advancement, scholarship opportunities and environment.

Over $10 million is donated each year through these colorful plates. Most specialty plates cost $25 each year. $17 from each plate goes to a charity or nonprofit group of that plate. 

You can check out all the different specialty plates available at azdot.gov/plates and order the plate that says “BINGO” to you at azmvdnow.gov/plates

Visit the ADOT Kids website at azdot.gov/adotkids for more fun and educational activities and videos!

Hey ADOT Kids! Do you love a good rainstorm?

Hey ADOT Kids! Do you love a good rainstorm?

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Hey ADOT Kids! Do you love a good rainstorm?

Hey ADOT Kids! Do you love a good rainstorm?

By Audrey St. Clair / ADOT Communications
July 10, 2023
An anthropomorphic rain drop standing in front of a puddle of water, surrounded by various debris.

As an Arizona kid, you are likely used to many days of hot, dry weather. When we get the occasional rainstorm, do you celebrate by dancing in the rain (but never during a thunderstorm), rather than heading indoors to stay dry? 

You may have learned about the earth’s water cycle and how water moves from the earth to the atmosphere and back to earth.

When water falls to the earth as rain, we call that STORMWATER. In the Sonoran desert, this water can soak into the ground or flow over different surfaces like roads, driveways, sidewalks and parking lots, into washes, gutters and drains, eventually making its way into storm drains that empty into our local streams, washes, rivers, and oceans. Stormwater is not treated like the water we use in our homes, so any pollutants (things like oil, chemicals, fertilizers and even pet waste) that go into a storm drain can affect the environment in a harmful way. ADOT works to reduce these pollutants and well as reduce the amount of litter on our roads that can clog freeway drains. Check out the cool hydrovac truck that ADOT crews use to help clean up the trash in the drains.  This video starring “Stormwater Stanley” can help you learn more about stormwater in the desert and why it is important to protect our waterways. 

Here is a fun activity you can download and print where you can help solve a hidden message about stormwater and storm drains! You can visit the ADOTKids website at azdot.gov/adotkids  for more fun and educational activities and videos!

ADOT Big Kids: Mappin’ it this summer

ADOT Big Kids: Mappin’ it this summer

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ADOT Big Kids: Mappin’ it this summer

ADOT Big Kids: Mappin’ it this summer

By Mary Currie / ADOT Communications
July 3, 2023
A screenshot of a map of Arizona on the az511.gov website, showing event and incident icons.

Hey kids — and big kids, too! Headed to northern Arizona this summer to enjoy the high country’s cool weather or stake your claim to a favorite fishing hole? We’ve got the map that may help plan your trip and help save travel time by revealing a more direct route to your intended location. 

The Arizona 511 Traveler Information System – download the AZ511 app for free for Apple and Android devices or visit az511.gov – helps people do just that and much more. Before you go, we’ve created a matching activity to help everyone piling into the car get familiar with some of the map features. 

Begin the map challenge by matching the identifying words in the left column to the icons in the right column. No peeking for pete’s sake—phones and tablets down until you’ve completed the match! 

Then visit the app homepage and test your skills by identifying the icons and their functions. Click into the map legend and check the boxes for the first icon in the legend. Notice how information related to the icon pops up on the map. Click on the icon to learn what’s going on at that highway point on the map and so forth, to learn about each icon’s function.

Thanks for playing and safe travels!

Wherever your road trip takes you this summer, be a mappin’ pro with az511.govVisit ADOT Kids for more fun and activities.

Hey ADOT Kids! Don’t be litter bugs!

Hey ADOT Kids! Don’t be litter bugs!

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Hey ADOT Kids! Don’t be litter bugs!

Hey ADOT Kids! Don’t be litter bugs!

By Audrey St. Clair / ADOT Communications
June 20, 2023
Litter Bug mean

People litter when they throw their garbage somewhere instead of putting it in a trash can. Sometimes people litter when they don’t care about the place where they’re throwing their trash, or when they think someone else will come and clean up after them. 

Not only is litter unsightly to see on the ground, along our highways or in waterways, but this type of pollution hurts people and the planet in multiple ways. 

Litter costs money to clean up, it can hurt humans and wildlife, and it also harms the environment as the chemicals in plastic break down and enter the soil or the water. Litter can wind up in storm drains that could then cause flooding on the roads.

Litter is a problem that can be controlled and YOU CAN HELP make a difference! 

How can you help? Never let trash escape from your car. Keep it contained in a bag inside of your vehicle. Find a proper trash container to throw it in, or recycle it if you can. (Did you know that most of the aluminum cans in the United States are made with recycled aluminum?)

Don’t throw apple cores, banana peels or other food parts out the window. Not only is it ugly, but animals can be attracted to the scent and can cause a crash if they cross the road.

Help us by doing  your part to keep Arizona Grand!

Download and print a fun scrambled word sheet to find types of litter found on Arizona roads. Visit the ADOT Kids website at azdot.gov/ADOTKids for activities and videos about freeways … and more!

 

Hey ADOT Kids! Are you ready for some fun (and educational) summer activities?

Hey ADOT Kids! Are you ready for some fun (and educational) summer activities?

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Hey ADOT Kids! Are you ready for some fun (and educational) summer activities?

Hey ADOT Kids! Are you ready for some fun (and educational) summer activities?

By Audrey St. Clair / ADOT Communications
May 23, 2023
Two animated kids in construction clothing standing in front of a crossword puzzle.

ADOT Kids is a website created to spark children’s curiosity in how things work and what makes things go, tapping into their interest in science, technology, engineering and math in a fun way!  ADOT Kids has lots of free, downloadable activity sheets, links to videos and more!   

Topics include bridges, freeway design, litter, safety, snowplows, road signs and engineering. ADOT Kids provides many activities that teachers can use in their classrooms and kids can do on their own! Children can learn about engineering (maybe as a career?), bicycle safety, what drivers should do if their car comes across a dust storm and why it’s important for drivers to secure their loads. We’re adding new activities to engage, educate and entertain them while they learn about Arizona’s transportation system.  

This summer, we will be rolling out a new activity every two weeks, so check back often! Here is a new crossword puzzle about ADOT Kids to rev up your brain! Check out all there is on azdot.gov/ADOTKids!

ADOT Kids: How ADOT builds roads

ADOT Kids: How ADOT builds roads

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ADOT Kids: How ADOT builds roads

ADOT Kids: How ADOT builds roads

By Audrey St. Clair / ADOT Communications
January 3, 2022

Hey, ADOT Kids! Do you want to learn more about how roads are built?

There’s a lot that goes into constructing roads, like our highways in Arizona. And we’re here to give you the details, plus this activity sheet of heavy equipment vehicles. Use this sheet to follow along as we explore the construction vehicles and equipment that builds Arizona’s highways.

First, before a road is built, engineers choose a route or path for the road. They must study how this road will affect buildings, homes, traffic, plants and animals in the area. 

Once the road location has been chosen, the building begins! These are some of the heavy equipment vehicles used to construct roads:

  • Excavators are used for digging a lot of dirt quickly, but can also be used to lift heavy stuff and place pipes.
  • Dump trucks deliver gravel and crushed stone, which is called aggregate. 
  • Bulldozers move the aggregate around to make a flat surface. 
  • A grader machine can be used to give the right slope to the road. 
  • The roller is one of the last construction vehicles to do its job. It presses down on the road surface and makes it strong enough for cars to drive on. 

Once the road is cooled and compacted by a roller, it’s time to paint the lane stripes using a machine called a striper, and install reflectors, roadway signs and sometimes guardrails. 

Next time you drive past a road-construction site, see what kinds of equipment you can identify. Learn about engineering, safety and more, just for kids, at azdot.gov/ADOTKids.


 

Hey ADOT Kids! Take the candy-toothpick building challenge!

Hey ADOT Kids! Take the candy-toothpick building challenge!

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Hey ADOT Kids! Take the candy-toothpick building challenge!

Hey ADOT Kids! Take the candy-toothpick building challenge!

By Audrey St. Clair / ADOT Communications
November 1, 2021

Engineering is the creative use of science and math to design or make things to solve a problem. Engineers, like the ones we have at ADOT, design, build and test things. Do you want to give this fun build-and-test activity a try —  like an engineer? To take the candy-toothpick building challenge, start with the following items.

Supplies Needed

  • Gummy bears or gum drops (or a similar candy from your trick-or-treat bucket!)
  •  At least 36 toothpicks
  • 1 hardcover book
  • Optional: paper plate as a working surface

 ⋙ ​​​​Download instructions and photos

Steps

  1. Start by building a cube shape by connecting the toothpicks to the gummy bears. Build a second cube shape just like it.
  2. Once your cubes are made, test your structure by placing the book on top. Did it collapse? It seems like a cube is not a strong enough structure to hold the book.
  3. Try building another shape — a pyramid.
  4. Build three pyramids out of the toothpicks and gummy bears.
  5. Try spreading them out and placing the book on top.
  6. Continue to adjust your structures as needed until they can support the book.
  7. Did your revised design work? (Warning: Be careful not to poke yourself with the toothpicks.)

How It Works
Some shapes have more strength than others. Triangles give more support than squares when building structures. Triangles are used a lot in the construction of things like bridges. Just like an engineer, you can test many different solutions and each time you redesign it, the solution can get better.

Source: generationgenius.com

Hey ADOT Kids! Be a SSP* while being physically active

Hey ADOT Kids! Be a SSP* while being physically active

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Hey ADOT Kids! Be a SSP* while being physically active

Hey ADOT Kids! Be a SSP* while being physically active

By Audrey St. Clair / ADOT Communications
September 27, 2021

What’s so important about being physically active? Well, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, physical inactivity is a major contributor to health problems like obesity, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and other bad health conditions in the United States. ADOT Kids encourages safe and active transportation for kids across the state.

What is active transportation? Active transportation is a physical activity that is any self-propelled, human-powered mode of transportation, such as walking, bicycling, riding a scooter or a skateboard. 

You can read more about bike safety in this ADOT Blog, but we want to talk about being safe while walking near, or crossing, roads and streets, also known as being a pedestrian! According to the Active Transportation Alliance, here are some ways to be an SSP (*Super Safe Pedestrian):

  • Walk on a sidewalk whenever possible. If there is no sidewalk, walk facing the traffic on the left side of the road. 
  • Before crossing a street, stop, look left, right and then left again to make sure it is safe to cross. At a four-way intersection, also look behind and in front.
  • Never assume a driver sees you. Make eye contact and wave to drivers before stepping out. 
  • Watch for cars entering or exiting driveways, or backing up in parking lots.
  • Walk, don’t run, across the street. 
  • Cross at corners, using crosswalks and traffic signals whenever possible. Wait for the signal to cross, but still watch out for cars.
  • Be alert, removing any headphones or putting devices like phones down while crossing a street.
  • Be visible at all times. Wear bright clothing during the day, and wear reflective materials or use a flashlight at night.
  • If you are under 10 years old, we suggest you have a walking buddy who is older.

Download and print the ADOT Kids’ active transportation activity to help SSP (Super Safe Pedestrian) Pete safely cross the streets to get home. 

You can learn more about ADOT’s plans and strategies to improve safety, infrastructure, education, plans and programs for active transportation across Arizona on the Active Transportation website. You can also learn more about the 6-mile shared-use path that runs alongside the Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway in Phoenix, which is open to all non-motorized users, such as runners, skaters, walkers and cyclists. Even leashed dogs are welcome to use the path.

Click below to download the activity.