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Engineering Community Involvement and Hands-On Activities Are Key Strengths of SLU’s Summer Transportation Institute

While many of the parents who sent their high schoolers to Saint Louis University’s Summer Transportation Institute in July may like to see the camp extended to two weeks, this program will continue to provide a one-week experience, packed with daily hands-on activities, to two different groups of students again in 2017.

“We would love to offer the camp as two-week sessions, but, with our current resources, these two, one-week sessions are the only way to serve the maximum number of students,” said camp director, Jalil Kianfar, PhD, Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering at Parks College of Engineering, Aviation, and Technology. Having successfully completed the second year of this program at SLU, Kianfar looks forward to building on the tradition again next year by leveraging what makes the program strong. Read more

Teachers Learn How to Introduce the Field of Engineering to Students

Iowa State University’s Institute for Transportation partnered with the Iowa Department of Transportation in the summer of 2015 to lead three programs that introduced elementary and high school teachers as well as high school students to the field of engineering.

Jennifer Serra is a program assistant at the Institute for Transportation where she helped design the programs. Serra said the program helped teachers so they could actively engage their students in the STEM fields.

Twenty-four teachers participated in “Teaching in the Fast Lane Workshop for Elementary Teachers,” that featured STEM investigations into the best method for elementary school teachers to educate young students about science, math, and engineering concepts.

Leading faculty and graduate students made presentations about engineering in the workshop, hosted at ISU. One presenter was Lynne Bleeker, a consultant for Full Option Science System, a program that aims to make learning environments more active. She helped elementary school teachers design a curriculum that met national science and math standards. Read more

Bridge-Building Competition Engages Students With Active Learning Approach

Science Center of Iowa’s premier “Ready, Set, Build! Bridge-Building Challenge,” event inspired students to consider careers in engineering and transportation and launched a lasting partnership for key transportation agencies in the state.

Seventy-six students and family members from all around Iowa traveled to Des Moines, Iowa to attend the November, 2015 event designed to introduce y­oung students to engineering through an approach based on hands-on learning. Event participants formed 24 teams, and each team had three hours to construct a bridge using a selection of balsa wood, wood clothespins, popsicle sticks, hot glue, and string. The bridges were then tested and judged. Read more

Elementary schools host Family Science and Engineering Nights

Family Science & Engineering Nights are a Vehicle for Transportation Education

Article contributed by Joan Chadde, Michigan Technological University

Barkell Elementary School in Hancock and Chassell Elementary in Chassell, both small towns in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, hosted Family Science and Engineering Nights recently, on Feb. 16 and March 15 respectively, for elementary-aged students and their parents or guardians. The event provided attendees with a hands-on learning experience focused on engineering and science, which also included a lesson on transportation.

Family Science and Engineering Nights are coordinated by Joan Chadde, director of the Center for Science and Environmental Outreach at Michigan Technological University, and a CFIRE partner since 2011.

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