Feb 15, 2013

Students at Portland’s Cleveland High School learned on Tuesday that their school sits at the heart of pioneering transportation research. The school is at the corner of Southeast 26th Avenue and Powell Boulevard, a corridor in which a variety of advanced traffic management technologies have been installed.

Adam Moore, a graduate student in transportation engineering at Portland State University, and Jon Makler, OTREC’s program manager for education and technology transfer, were guest teaching some algebra classes at Cleveland High as part of National Engineering Month.

In Oregon every February, the Business Education Compact helps match thousands of professional engineers who volunteer to teach in classrooms from elementary through high school. The goal is to raise student awareness of the opportunities and rewards of working in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.

This is the third year of volunteering for Makler, who developed a lesson plan that describes the many ways that transportation relies on STEM skills, including engineering. After watching helmet cam footage of biking in downtown Portland, students used basic algebra to learn about how traffic signals are timed to make streets safe and efficient for people in cars, on bike or on foot.

But Moore stole the show as he explained how various devices at the intersection of Powell and 26th help manage traffic. Students were...

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Apr 18, 2011

February has come and gone, but students will remember their first engineering lessons as they start their careers. That, anyway, is the hope behind National Engineers Month, an effort to get students excited about engineering.

Each February, professional engineers volunteer to visit kindergarten-through-12th-grade classrooms to describe their jobs, get children participating in problem-solving exercises and having fun while using math and science. And, in one case, showing silly video clips from movies made before the students were born.

That, anyway, was the case at St. Mary’s Academy in Portland, Feb. 22 and 23, where OTREC’s Jon Makler presented on transportation engineering. Asking how people get interested in transportation engineering, he showed a clip from “National Lampoon’s European Vacation” depicting a family stuck for hours in a fearsome traffic circle:











Makler engaged his audience with real-world transportation puzzles that doubled as algebra problems. The students calculated travel times to Seattle on various modes, considering access to airports and train stations alongside...

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Mar 19, 2009

OTREC is pleased to announce that its Education and Technology Transfer Program Manager, Jon Makler, has been offered a 3-year term on the Transportation Research Board’s Technology Transfer Committee. The committee is concerned with information exchange and research on the processes and methods for technology transfer, and assisting the Transportation Research Board and other TRB committees in their role as an agent for technology transfer. Jon is also a member of the Regional Transportation System Management and Operations Committee and was previously a member of the Transportation & Air Quality Committee.

Jan 21, 2009

OTREC is pleased to announce the hiring of Jon Makler, AICP as the new Education and Technology Transfer Program Manager. Jon’s role will involve disseminating OTREC research to professionals throughout Oregon and beyond. Jon is well known in the Portland region for his work on transportation operations with the City of Portland and Metro. Before moving to Oregon from Massachusetts in 2005, Jon worked as a transportation consultant with a diverse portfolio, including metropolitan planning, intelligent transportation systems, and environmental justice. Prior to that, Jon was affiliated with the Region 1 University Transportation Center, first as a graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.S., 2000), and later as a research project manager at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. Jon’s research focused on the integration of transportation and environmental policies and was based on case studies of Mexico City as well as major US cities such as Atlanta, Houston, Chicago and San Francisco. Jon earned his B.A. from Swarthmore College near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he was born and raised. Jon’s family lives in Northeast Portland.