Social Studies

Social Studies (X) - Technology (X) - Economics (X) - Geography (X)

Rivers, Roads, Rails, and Air | The Decline of Railroads and Streetcars

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Discover how the building and use of railroads declined due to the popularity of automobiles and trucks. One effect was the development of regional and short line railroads that served smaller communities. Several larger cities used local electric streetcars until the automobiles took over.

Career Connections | Transportation Supervisor

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Hear from a transportation supervisor of a company that relies heavily on vehicle use in its day-to-day operations. Learn about this career that involves maximizing operational efficiency while minimizing costs

America Revealed | Gridlock

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Using this video, which examines the solutions to the problem of traffic congestion in New York City’s Times Square, teach a dynamic problem-solution lesson, "No More Traffic Jams: Identifying Gridlock Solutions in Your Community," that supports your STEM curriculum. Students explore how policy, infrastructure and technology changes can impact traffic and identify and design solutions to traffic problems in their communities.

This video is available in both English and Spanish audio, along with corresponding closed captions.

The Interstate Highway System | Georgia Stories

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Roads are vital for growth and development in any area. Dr. Charles Floyd, a University of Georgia economist, notes that Georgia roads were not paved even into the 1930s. It was Pres. Franklin Roosevelt who had the idea of an American state highway system. The four-lane divided roads in Germany known as autobahns were used as the model for interstate highways in America. Their construction began in the 1950s under the administration of Pres. Harry Truman. Drivers loved them, but small towns suffered as they were bypassed.

Great States | Iowa Economy

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Iowa’s natural resources gave rise to its early industries like lumber and coal mining. Discover how the real key to Iowa’s growth as a modern economy was transportation. Stagecoaches, freight wagons, steamboats, and trains were crucial to Iowa’s commercial development. 

Port Canaveral | Central Florida Roadtrip

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In addition to the space industry at Cape Canaveral, is the now growing cruise and cargo industry at Port Canaveral. To many it may seem like the Port has only been around for a few years, but in fact it is now over 60 years old.

Great States | Montana Economy

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European fur-trappers, and later silver and gold prospectors, disrupted the lives of Montana’s Cheyenne, Crow, and Blackfeet Indian Nations. Learn how Montana’s economy has evolved since those early times to include timber, banking, high-tech industry, and tourism.

Money Drives | Steamboats on the Red

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Find out why businessmen considered the Red River of the North a water highway in this video from the Steamboats on the Red series. The Red River of the North isn’t the first river that comes to mind when a person thinks of a water highway. So what could have possibly driven businessmen to think of it as such? Money. Money drove companies, like the Hudson’s Bay Company, to find a shorter and more economical route from New York to St. Paul, Minnesota. But as these businessmen would find out, nothing is ever as easy as it seems.

Looking at the shallow twists and turns of the Red River, it’s hard to imagine that steam-powered paddlewheel boats were once the most important transportation link between St. Paul, Minnesota, and Winnipeg, Manitoba. From the first in 1859 to the last that sank in 1909, Red River steamboats hauled thousands of settlers and millions of tons of freight across the border between the United States and Canada. Although it lasted barely 50 years, the age of the steamboat forged a commercial network between the two countries that exists to this day in the Interstate-29 corridor.