K-12 Workforce Development in Transportation Engineering at UF (Year 1)

Workforce development activities aim to attract new entrants into the transportation field and improve the skills of the existing workforce to effectively address today’s transportation system challenges. The University of Florida Transportation Institute (UFTI) participated in four planned K-12 outreach activities for STRIDE, as well as several other activities as outlined: LEGO® Robot Vehicle Lesson Plans for Secondary Education: UFTI used the “Introduction to Transportation” curriculum developed at UF for students at a Girl Scout summer camp. A second set of updated robots was purchased and a new limited curriculum was developed for fourth and fifth graders, which includes building of the robot which serves the intelligent vehicles of the future curriculum. In all robotic workshops, students learned various fundamentals of Transportation Engineering and how the use of advanced technology is integral to solving current and future transportation problems. They also learned how much transportation affects the quality of life in our society. Transportation Career Day: Designed to introduce high school-aged students to transportation careers, the events featured presentations, lab tours, and a hands-on traffic simulation exercise. Family Engineering Events: UFTI hosted an informal engineering education program at local elementary schools to team up children aged 7-12 and their parents or caregivers to experience fun, hands-on engineering activities. Parents and caregivers can positively influence attitudes about engineering and encourage consideration of a possible career in engineering by showing interest in and willingness to explore such engineering activities. In addition to the programs planned for Southeastern Transportation Research, Innovation, Development and Education (STRIDE), UFTI participated in outreach with assistance from university student chapter members and through local partnerships. Students provided a booth at the College of Engineering’s Engineering Fair, and hosted workshops providing hands-on engineering activities at a local middle school afterschool program and church education fair. SIMCity: UFTI develop and piloted transportation specific modules for middle school-aged students utilizing the video game SimCity (www.simcity.com) to foster interest in the transportation profession as a career choice. Project funds provided mostly equipment to support the STRIDE University of Florida workforce development efforts. A small amount of staff salaries were charged to this project. The Council of University Transportation Centers held a National Transportation Workforce Summit April 24-26, 2012. Gerhard Salinger from the National Science Foundation stated, “Rather than developing a course for railroads or any of the modes...we can take a math problem and teach people mathematics in the context of a transportation problem. And then do a bit more exploration about transportation so students get the idea.” (1) UFTI aims to expose children to transportation through exploration and activities that already interest them.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Department of Transportation
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Managing Organizations:

    Southeastern Transportation Research, Innovation, Development and Education Center (STRIDE)

    University of Florida
    365 Weil Hall
    Gainesville, FL  United States  32611
  • Project Managers:

    Kline, Robin

  • Performing Organizations:

    University of Florida Transportation Institute

    2100 NE Waldo Rd.
    Gainesville, FL  United States  32609
  • Principal Investigators:

    Elefteriadou, Ageliki (Lily)

  • Start Date: 20131101
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20131115
  • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers Program

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01640068
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Southeastern Transportation Research, Innovation, Development and Education Center (STRIDE)
  • Files: UTC, RiP
  • Created Date: Jun 29 2017 3:51PM