UF K-12 Workforce Development Project


Principal Investigators: Nina Barker, T2 and Leslie Washburn, UFTI

Final Report

Abstract:

The University of Florida Transportation Research Center will participate in three K-12 outreach activities for STRIDE. We will work with our local engineering firms and alumni to subsidize these outreach activities whenever possible with sponsorship and donations, which can be counted as STRIDE match funds. Student chapter volunteer opportunities will be available for each of the activities below.

LEGO® Robot Vehicle Lesson Plans for Secondary Education: An existing “Introduction to Transportation” curriculum for students in grades 5-8 is available to the STRIDE consortium for use in their local schools, afterschool programs, summer camps, Boys and Girls Clubs, Girl and Boys Scouts, etc. Students will learn some fundamentals of Transportation Engineering and how the use of advanced technology is integral to solving current and future transportation problems. They will also learn how much transportation affects the quality of life in our society and touches on safety, livability, and economic competitiveness. Additional laptops, robots, and travel cases will be purchased in order to provide seats for up to 16 students per class. Manuals will need to be printed. Students will be charged a registration fee to cover facility and instructor fees. We anticipate the program being offered in at least three local middle schools and on at least two Saturday workshops at a local museum.

Transportation Career Day: A Transportation Career Day will be designed for high school-aged students to introduce them, and possibly their parents, and school counselors to transportation careers. A one day workshop will be held on the University of Florida campus. The workshop willinclude a lecture, lab tours, lunch, hands-on activity and competition. High school sophomores and juniors will be encouraged to attend as well as high school guidance counselors.

Family Engineering Events UFs will host this informal engineering education program that actively engages elementary-aged children and their families in fun, hands-on engineering activities at local elementary schools. Family Engineering activities are designed for children aged 7-12 and their parents, or other adult caregiver, to be actively engaged as a team. By showing interest and exploring engineering with their children, parent and other caregivers can positively influence a child’s attitude about engineering, as well as encourage their children to consider a possible career in engineering. Family Engineering Night will be held at three or more local elementary schools with assistance from the ITE and WTS student chapters. Equipment for additional activities will be added to the materials to add variety for repeat participants.