Transportation Education for the Next Generation

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Transportation workforce development doesn't always take place at the university level. Students' interest in transportation can start much earlier than that, which is why we are always looking for ways to engage elementary and high school students in transportation.

In recent years, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education efforts at the K-12 level have increased significantly and many organizations are seeking to expand the capacity and diversity of the STEM workforce. Through nationally-funded research, we support curriculum development projects and initiatives that introduce middle- and high-school students to transportation concepts and careers.

Women comprise 50% of the workforce, but are only represented in 15% of the transportation industry. We seek to increase the number of women and students of color in transportation-focused degree programs, and expand the diversity and capacity of the workforce.

We pursue this goal by offering:

  • Events and workshops that are designed for specific age groups and deep-dive into aspects of the transportation industry.
  • Presentations for students interested in learning about careers in transportation.
  • Library of Innovative Curriculum that offers educators tools to teach their students concepts in transportation.

Events and Workshops in 2019

GIS Online Story Mapping: One-Day Workshop for High School Girls (Co-hosted with ChickTech)
WHEN: Saturday, March 9, 2019
WHERE: Portland, Oregon (Hosted at Portland State University)
WHO IS ELIGIBLE? Female and female-identified students currently in Oregon high school
COST: Free!
Mapping and spatial analysis has been evolving as an important field of study for centuries. In contemporary times, we refer to it as “GIS”, which stands for Geographic Information Science. Join us at this one-day workshop for high school girls to become familiar with creating and interpreting maps and doing spatial analysis, by working with vehicle crash data from the City of Portland. Students will get to make their own interactive web maps using data from their city and neighborhoods.
 
WHEN: Sunday, June 23 to Saturday, June 29, 2019
WHERE: Portland, Oregon (Hosted at Portland State University)
WHO IS ELIGIBLE? High school students residing in Oregon, entering 9-12 grade in the 2019/20 school year with at least a 2.0 GPA
COST: Free!
APPLY TO ATTEND: Applications for this camp have closed. Be notified when 2020 applications open.
This one-week residence camp offers any student entering the 9–12 grade 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.
 
WHEN: Sunday, June 23 to Saturday, June 29, 2019
WHERE: Klamath Falls, Oregon (Hosted at the Oregon Institute of Technology)
WHO IS ELIGIBLE? Female and female-identified students residing in Oregon, entering 9-12 grade in the 2019/20 school year with at least a 2.0 GPA
COST: Free!
APPLY TO ATTEND: Applications for this camp have closed. Be notified when 2020 applications open.
This one-week residence camp offers any student entering the 9–12 grade who identifies as female an immersive introduction to transportation systems and engineering. Half of each day is spent as a seminar, in the classroom hearing from Oregon Tech faculty and guest lecturers from Blue Zones Project, the Basin Transit Service, the Klamath County Public Works, City of Klamath Falls, and various other public and private transportation agencies that operate in the Klamath Basin area. The other half is spent outside, in field tours of area transportation infrastructure and public spaces.
 
WHEN: Monday, July 8 to Friday, July 12, 2019
WHERE: Portland, Oregon (Hosted at Portland State University)
WHO IS ELIGIBLE? Female and female-identified students residing in Oregon entering 9-12 grade in the 2019/20 school year with at least a 2.0 GPA
COST: Free!
APPLY TO ATTEND:  Click here to learn more (Rolling admissions until we reach capacity)
Maps have been used for centuries to help humans understand our world. In contemporary times, we use a mapping technology known as “GIS”, which stands for Geographic Information Science. GIS is rooted in the science of geography, and uses many of the same skills of ancient map makers, now enhanced by the use of state of the art digital technology and software. Join us at this one-week day camp for high school girls to become familiar with GIS by creating and interpreting maps and doing spatial analysis, using data from the City of Portland to visualize some compelling urban transportation issues.

WHEN: Sunday, July 14 to Saturday, July 20, 2019
WHERE: Portland, Oregon (Hosted at Portland State University)
WHO IS ELIGIBLE? Female and female-identified students residing in Oregon, entering 9-12 grade in the 2019/20 school year with at least a 2.0 GPA
COST: Free!
APPLY TO ATTEND: Click here to learn more (Rolling admissions until we reach capacity)
This one-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.

Transportation Career Presentations

Have a group of students curious about careers in transportation? Contact us at asktrec@pdx.edu and our staff can introduce your students to the industry, the variety of careers, and its importance as a fundamental aspect of human society.

Library of Curriculum

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.

Past Community Initiatives

Investigations in Transportation
In 2015, 5th grade classes at Beaverton’s Chehalem Elementary and 5th and 6th graders at Tobias Elementary in Aloha took part in a NITC education project, Investigations in Transportation, co-sponsored by Portland State University, the Portland Metro STEM Partnership and the Oregon Department of Transportation. The students' work yielded functional changes which will likely be made to the parking lots at both schools, resulting in better traffic flow and increased capacity. The unit was designed to teach students real-world applications of core concepts in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). After exploring several potential engineering challenges at their schools, both groups of students chose to work on the “Parking Lot Dilemma.” (LEARN MORE)