A record number of students attended he 11th Annual TTI Summer Transportation Institute (STI), which was held on three campuses in June—Paul Quinn College in Dallas, Texas A&M University, Kingsville and The University of Texas at El Paso. In all, 155 students attended TTI’s STI.
“The Summer Transportation Institute is filled with success stories every year,” Director Debbie Jasek says. “And this year was no exception. We had a record turnout and a great group of young people who got a lot out of it.”
The students range from 6th to 11th grade who take part in activities that have an engineering or transportation focus. For example, after learning information about buoyancy, the students build canoes out of cardboard and packing tape. The canoe races are judged on which boat, with two students aboard, can travel the longest before sinking. The students also create their own cement and build bridges made of Popsicle sticks. Mentors take the students on field trips to see local TxDOT district operations and other transportation agencies, where they learn firsthand about opportunities for careers in transportation.
Funded by the Federal Highway Administration and administered through the Texas Department of Transportation, the Texas program is also conducted at Prairie View A&M and Texas Southern University, which also reported record attendance.
“Students get hands-on experience at the institute that really shows them what it’s like to be an engineer,” explains Dr. Raghava Kommalapati, civil engineering professor and Prairie View STI’s director. “Our goal is to get them to think about the future of transportation and how they can make that dream a reality.”