Public Lab Research note

The Mother Lord of Nature: Potholes

by adamroevens , kevinmarinello , rayfieldlotten | May 17, 2021 16:34 17 May 16:34 | #26626 | #26626



9th-grade students at Brother Martin High school are researching potholes and how they affect the environment. **

Our main concern:


The main concern is that cars driving over potholes have to slow down, increasing their carbon footprint. The slowing down of the car would make the car less fuel-efficient and make it produce more emissions that are bad for the environment.**

Who is engaged in this concern?


People engaged in this concern include the general public and the New Orleans Department of Public Works. The Department of Public Works goes out and repairs the potholes but not after the general public calls a number (311) and reports the pothole.**

What are the initial questions?

  1. How do Potholes form?
  2. How do Potholes affect the environment?
  3. Who is trying to fix the issue?
  4. Who has the power and authority to fix the issue?
  5. How long does it take for a single pothole to be filled?
  6. What parts of New Orleans have the most potholes?
  7. What are possible solutions?

What we found:

We went out around the school and counted the number of potholes and the depth they are. Not all potholes are deep enough to slow down. However, we found that cars would have to slow down if a pothole is more than 3 inches deep. We found that when a car has to slow down for a pothole, the carbon footprint increases by 145%. This is

when a car slows down from 20 mph to 10 mph.

This photo end is the mapping of our research area where potholes are found

*First photo is the street name where we did our research. The second photo is an aerial view

(*This is a chart of the potholes and their depth)

This is a chart of the amount of CO2 a single-car produces at different speeds

*This chart is an assumption of the number of cars that hit potholes with the cars weight and the cars weight when they don't hit potholes.

*This is a chart of the amount of CO2 cars would produce with potholes going 10 mph and without potholes going 20 mph


@adamroevens has marked @KevinMarinello as a co-author.

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@adamroevens has marked @Rayfieldlotten as a co-author.

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