Through funding new curriculum and engaging with community partners on STEM education, we seek to introduce students to transportation concepts and careers at an early age. Additional focus is placed on increasing the number of women and Black, Indigeneous and people of color in the transportation profession by attracting and retaining those students to transportation-related degree programs.
K-12 Transportation Curriculum
Workforce development doesn't have to wait until the university. In addition to our education and outreach programs, we invest funding and expertise into the development of new K-12 transportation curriculum that can be used by educators:
- (Grades 9-12) S.T.E.A.M. TRAINing: Engaging High School Girls in Transportation and Equity Issues through GIS
- (Grades 8 - 12) Closing the Gap: Developing a Transportation Curriculum for the Oregon Young Scholars Program
- (Grades 6-12): Project Phenom: A Smart Bike Project for grades 6-12
- (Grades 3 - 5): Investigations in Transportation
- (Grades 3 - 5): "Big & Awesome Bridges" - We were a major funder for this celebrated 240 page, full-color book focused on the Portand, OR and Vancouver, WA region. Featuring 22 big river railway and roadway bridges between Vancouver and Oregon City, with a 19-page bridge building and load-testing unit, the poems and artwork of students and adults, and interviews with engineers, ironworkers, bridge operators, and others.
The curriculum modules and resources shared here are offered to you conditioned on your acceptance without modifications of the Terms. Your use of the curriculum modules constitutes your agreement to all such Terms.
- To reproduce or make copies of the modules: any reproductions or copies must contain proper attribution to the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC), and at a minimum, the NITC logo.
- To distribute the modules or module adaptations: any reproductions or copies must contain proper attribution to NITC, and at a minimum, the NITC logo.
- To create and reproduce adaptations (work based on the curriculum modules): provided that any such adaptations or changes, including any translation in any medium, takes reasonable steps to clearly label, demarcate or otherwise identify that changes were made to the original modules. For example, a translation could be marked "The original curriculum modules were translated from English to Spanish." If significant adapations are made (e.g. language translation) that may benefit other users, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to determine whether this update could be added to the project resources.
High School Programs
Transportation Summer Camps in Oregon
Through a variety of funders, we support transportation career-focused summer camps for students entering 9th through 12th grade, with a special emphasis on education for young women. The programs provide experiential learning on transportation, connects high schoolers with local professionals in transportation-related fields, and attracts students from diverse backgrounds to transportation-related course work in their higher education pursuits. Our objectives with this program:
1. Attract students from diverse backgrounds to transportation-related course work
The summer camps will highlight some of the opportunities available for future academic pursuits and develop relationships with existing university students who are assisting as academic aides and peer mentors.
2. Provide experiential learning on the different modes of transportation
Field tours let students experience and study multiple modes of transportation in the urban context. Oregon is unique in the United States for its high quality urban transportation facilities such as the bus, light rail, streetcar and bicycle and pedestrian network.
3. Elevate women as professionals in transportation-related fields
The majority of the female-focused programs will be taught by women working in transportation in the academic, public and private sectors. The objective is to not just introduce high school girls to academic and career opportunities in transportation, but to provide them with a narrative of the road to success (and examples of overcoming challenges).
NITC works with ChickTech to host workshops for high school girls interested in technology. ChickTech’s high school program focuses on events that pose engineering challenges to get girls excited about technology. The program breaks down stereotypes and provides opportunities to encourage girls to consider technology-based fields. Our one-day workshops focus on engineering concepts and basic transportation modeling.
Middle School Programs
Transportation YOU events
The University of Utah and Portland State University partner with their local WTS chapters for their Transportation YOU programs. Transportation YOU is a hands-on, interactive, mentoring program that introduces girls ages 13 to 18 to a wide variety of transportation careers. Students and/or staff design and host an after-school activity at a Transportation YOU middle school annually. Portland State most recently partnered with WTS and Transportation YOU on the design and implementation of a challenge activity for the summer 2019 weeklong event in Washington D.C.
Grade School Programs
Curriculum for Elementary Students
In 2015 we supported the development of a program called “Investigations in Transportation,” a collaboration with the Portland Metro STEM Partnership. The program includes transportation curriculum development and implementation in Portland area elementary classrooms. The curriculum applies science inquiry, engineering design and mathematical practices to transportation-related topics and directly addresses Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core State Standards.