Special Committee on TRAC
Jameelah E. Hayes, Program Manager for Engineering
TRAC™(Transportation and Civil Engineering) & RIDES (Roadways In Developing Elementary Students), AASHTO’s educational outreach programs, are designed for use in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) classes. The hands-on activities introduce students in grades K-12 to the work world of transportation and civil engineering and inspire them to consider careers in those fields. Both programs are aligned with national standards and are currently being aligned with Core Curriculum Standards of Learning. State departments of transportation work with schools in their state by providing the curricula and resources for the schools and providing engineers to visit the classrooms to serve as speakers, teach a hands-on activity, and/or talk to students about the importance of math and science in preparing for their future.
TRAC™ (Transportation and Civil Engineering) and RIDES (Roadways In Developing Elementary Students) are hands-on, educational outreach programs of the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO). The programs are designed for integration into science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). State Departments of Transportation provide the program free of charge for schools in their state.
Vision: To deliver educational outreach programs that connect students to the work world of transportation while enhancing math, science, and technology skills.
Mission: To introduce students in grades K-12 to the working world of transportation, especially civil engineering, and inspire them to consider careers in those fields.
TRAC has eight modules which engage students in solving real-world problems while connecting them to the work world of transportation. Students design bridges, build magnetic-levitation trains, plan a city or learn about environmental issues that impact transportation.
In addition to providing a tool for teachers to improve math and science instruction in middle and secondary schools, TRAC improves work force diversity which helps to resolve one of the most pressing problems faced by the transportation today: a critical shortage of civil engineers.