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:

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

Hosted at Portland State University every year since 2015 - our transportation camp, free and open to any Oregon student entering the 9–12 grade, offer an immersive introduction to transportation careers and the workings of transportation systems in Portland. Students will work in groups to solve a real-world transportation problem, develop data collection and STEM skills, and go on daily field trips.

Each summer the camp has adapted to fit the needs of the program that year (length, online vs. in-person, day camp vs. residential, girls only vs. all genders). Learn more about our summer high school camps here, and stay tuned for details about 2022.


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:

  • Module 1: Observations by Foot
  • Module 2: Collecting the Data
  • Module 3: Crossing at the Intersection
  • Module 4: Final Project
  • Bonus Optional Activities: Transit Budgeting; Transportation Bingo
  • The full curriculum set can be downloaded here. 

Big and Awesome Bridges of Portland and Vancouver

Through funding from the U.S. DOT's UTC program, in 2014 we helped sponsor the development of this amazing, local resource for teachers and young readers: Big and Awesome Bridges of Portland and Vancouver book. It’s got bridge history, STEM knowledge, hands-on activities, and interviews with staff at Oregon DOT, Washington DOT, Multnomah and more. Know a budding bridge aficionado in your life? They need this book!

New to 2021: it’s now also available as an e-book!

From the publisher: “The big & awesome bridges of Portland & Vancouver is a book that gets young people excited about science and engineering and provides teachers a comprehensive resource for developing engaging elementary school units of study, all through an exploration of one of the most diverse and historic collections of big river bridges in the world."