Summer Transportation Camp (Girls) - Virtual Edition

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Monday, July 27, 2020, 10:00am PDT to Wednesday, August 19, 2020, 12:00pm PDT
FREE! (Capacity is limited, application required)
Portland State University

Due to the global pandemic and the need to keep our communities safe from COVID-19, we are transitioning from a one-week residential camp to a four-week virtual camp, with online sessions each Monday and Wednesday morning. We will provide updates as we continue to develop the curriculum and structure of this brand-new virtual camp!

We'll hear from PSU faculty and professionals from public and private transportation agencies that operate in the Portland metro area. We're also incorporating some outdoor activities to help improve students' awareness and familiarity with infrastructure and data collection.


  • Introduce you to professional women in transportation
  • Learn about the broad range of transportation careers and sectors
  • Understand the social justice and equity issues within transportation and how it relates to you, your family and your neighborhood
  • Introduce you to transportation systems in Portland
  • Connect with other high school students who are passionate about careers in transportation too
  • Have fun! 


This agenda is still being developed and is subject to change.


Academic Topic(s)

STEM Skill(s)

Self-Guided Field Activity

Week 1

Theme: Equity and Transportation


Welcome, introductions, group project overview, social equity & environmental justice

Collaboration, critical thinking

Neighborhood walk audit

Week 2

Theme: Transit and Multimodal Planning

Transit and multimodal planning workshop with case studies 

Math and science

Transit data analysis

Week 3

Theme: Geography and traffic engineering


Planning, geography & placemaking


Engineering and design thinking


Traffic engineering lab

Week 4

Theme: Networking and presentations


Networking and final presentations

Creativity, communication, inquiry


I loved getting to know the behind-the-scenes of how transportation works in Portland! The opportunities to meet professionals from TriMet, PBOT, the Port of Portland, and many other areas efffctively opened my eyes to careers I had never even considered before. Probably my favorite part was working with city planners to see the different kinds of roads and how they work to accommodate the specific needs of roads — from bike and pedestrian needs, to budgeting, to vehicular traffic requirements.
–2018 Student

After TREC, I realized how much time, effort, and planning is required in city planning, and I notice different aspects of transportation in Portland more than I used to. I am definitely more interested in having a career in transportation. I also learned about the difference between equality and equity, which I was able to apply in school.
–2018 Student

This camp helped me recognize various planning issues in my own town. I found the information in regards to equity in transportation very eye opening. Although I don't intend to enter a career in transportation, I had a really great experience at OSTI. It taught me what I want to look for in a university, what I like and don't like.
–2019 Student


Oregon resident, rising 9th - 12th grade (2019-2020), 2.0 GPA, girl students. We're also offering an all genders camp (June 22- July 15).


Theresa Somrak, Portland State University

Theresa is the Office and Events Coordinator for TREC. She supports the day-to-day operations of the office, purchasing and finance tasks, hosting visiting scholars, and event planning for TREC events such as the Friday Transportation Seminars. Though Theresa comes to TREC from PSU's Electrical and Computer Engineering department, she has also worked as a beer and Portland history tour guide, the Operations Director at the Democratic Party of Oregon, and an AmeriCorps volunteer at a social service nonprofit. Theresa has a bachelors in Cultural Anthropology and is currently taking graduate classes in Rehabilitation Counseling at PSU. Outside of work and school, she enjoys playing fetch with her cat, volunteering and handbuilding ceramics at a community studio, cooking, and bicycling.

Nora Stoelting, Portland State University

Nora is pursuing a dual master's in Leadership for Sustainability Education and Urban and Regional Planning. She is excited about the ways these two programs intersect in building a more dynamic, connected, and sustainable world. Though she loves exploring outdoor recreation in the great state of Oregon, she is originally from the concrete jungle of Brooklyn, NY. Nora's background is in garden education and environmental advocacy, and most recently worked in waste minimization with airport businesses at PDX. Nora is thrilled to join TREC to work on education programming through integrating tactical urbanism projects into PSU classes and designing TREC's free summer camp for high school students. She feels strongly in the power of collaborative, holistic, experiential teaching and learning to transform ourselves and the world. Outside of school and work, Nora likes to search for new trail races to run, plan outdoor adventures, answer people's questions about recycling, and go for long walks while listening to podcasts.


You offer an "all genders camp" and a "girls only camp", but do you offer a "boys only camp"?

No, we do not offer a boys only camp. 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.

Can you provide a certificate of completion for this camp?

Yes! We're happy to provide a certificate.

This camp is hosted by the Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC) at Portland State University. TREC is home to the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC), the Initiative for Bicycle and Pedestrian Innovation (IBPI), and other transportation programs. TREC produces research and tools for transportation decision makers, develops K-12 curriculum to expand the diversity and capacity of the workforce, and engages students and professionals through education.