The Next Generation in Transportation

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Sparking an interest in transportation can start early, and we are always looking for ways to engage students in transportation before they reach college.

In recent years, many organizations are seeking to increase interest in careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) through creative engagement. Through nationally-funded research, we support new curriculum and programs that introduce middle- and high-school students to transportation concepts and careers. Some of those programs include:

  • Annual summer transportation camps for Oregon high schoolers
  • GIS Mapping workshop for Oregon middle schoolers
  • Innovative transportation curriculum modules for your classroom

Transportation is an interdisciplinary industry, and it needs the diversity of perspectives and lived experiences in the workforce to address mobility issues our communities face. To that end, we seek to increase the number of women and students of color in transportation-focused degree programs by creating a welcoming and engaging space for them early on.

Get updates on K-12 programs and events


Free Summer Transportation Camps for Oregon High Schoolers

We have hosted this annual transportation camp every summer for five years in Oregon. Typically held as a residential camp on the Portland State University campus, we have also had the opportunity to host it on the Oregon Tech campus as well as in a virtual, remote-learning environment. We adapt the structure and curriculum of the camp each year in response to the needs of Oregon's students!

This camp offers any student entering the 9–12 grade an immersive introduction to the workings of the Portland transportation system. We hear from from PSU faculty and professionals 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. There are plenty of outdoor field activities to help improve students' awareness and familiarity with infrastructure and data collection.

Historically, these summer camps have been funded by the United States Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration with additional support from our partners at the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT).

Undeterred by the need to quarantine for public health and safety, in 2020 we shifted from a one-week residence camp to a four-week "virtual camp" with online sessions held twice a week. Learn more about our 2020 virtual camps, and stay tuned for announcements of the 2021 camp format and sign up for notifications here!

Summer Transportation Camp (All Genders)

WHEN: July 19 - 23, 2021
WHERE: In-person on the Portland State campus (day camp for 2021)
WHO IS ELIGIBLE? High school students residing in Oregon, entering 9-12 grade in the fall with at least a 2.0 GPA
COST: Free!
HOW DO I ATTEND: Seats in the camp are limited, and we will be opening applications by May 1, 2021


Summer Transportation Camp (Girls)

WHEN: August 9 - 13, 2021
WHERE: In-person on the Portland State campus (day camp for 2021)
WHO IS ELIGIBLE? Female-identified students residing in Oregon, entering 9-12 grade in the fall with at least a 2.0 GPA
COST: Free!
HOW DO I ATTEND: Seats in the camp are limited, and we will be opening applications by May 1, 2021

Teach Transportation in Your Classroom:
K-12 Curriculum

How Walkable is Your Neighborhood?

Originally designed by TREC staff for our annual summer high school camps, we're now offering this set of four modules "How Walkable is Your Neighborhood?" for any educator to teach in their classroom. No transportation background required!

These modules will provide students with creative ways of observing transportation systems in their neighborhoods through collecting pedestrian data, critically evaluating accessibility, and learning about livable communities. They will gain a deeper understanding of how people move through their community, and whether the transportation in their community is designed with the needs of all people in mind. Students will take this critical lens into their final projects where they will propose a vision for increasing transportation safety, accessibility, and livability in their community. 

The four consecutive modules in this toolkit are meant to be facilitated in sequence with 3-5 days in between, as they build upon each other. The modules can be adapted as stand alone lessons if needed. Educator instructions are provided, as well as printable student instructions:

NITC Library of Curriculum Projects

Through national funding from the U.S DOT, our university consoritum NITC funds education grants at six universities. These projects result in creating a library of curriculum that furthers the K-12 body of resources for teaching transportation in the classroom.