National Summer Transportation Institute

The 2017 Summer Transportation Institute was held August 7–18 at Portland State University. Dates and registration for the 2018 summer two-week intensive will be announced soon.

About the Program

Girls on bicycle tourThis two-week residence camp offers any student entering the 9–12 grade who identifies as female an immersive introduction to the workings of the Portland transportation system.

Half of each day is spent in the classroom hearing from PSU faculty and guest lecturers from ODOT, the FHWA, the Portland Bureau of Transportation, TriMet, the Port of Portland, and various other public and private transportation agencies that operate in the Portland metro area.

The other half is spent outside, in field tours of Portland’s transportation infrastructure and public spaces. Planners, engineers and designers come from all over the country to see Portland’s unique transportation system in action, and researchers use it as a testing ground for the most innovative solutions in safety, sustainability and livable efficiency.

Students are asked to choose a real-world transportation problem to investigate and use the skills they have gained to present a solution at the end of the course. Hands-on activities introduce students to GIS and transportation modeling software, and show how to use advanced technologies to achieve community goals. 

The course is part of a national initiative funded by the FHWA to address the need of a diverse workforce in the 21st century and is designed to promote awareness of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) educational and career opportunities. Minority or underrepresented students are encouraged to apply.

Model of double decker bus

The majority of the program is taught by women working in transportation in the academic, public and private sectors. The objective is not only to expose high school girls to academic and career opportunities in transportation but also to provide them with a narrative of the road to success from each of the professional women.

Portland provides a living laboratory for the students to experience and study multiple modes of transportation in the field. Portland is unique in the United States for its breadth of high quality transportation facilities such as the light rail, streetcar and bicycle and pedestrian network.

The National Summer Transportation Institute (NSTI) program is a transportation-focused career awareness initiative designed to introduce secondary school students to all modes of transportation-related careers, provide academic enhancement activities and encourage students to pursue transportation-related courses of study at the college/university level.

Questions? Contact Lisa Patterson

Read the "NSTI 2017 Diary" and the "NSTI 2016 Diary" to learn more about the program.