With support from the Institute of Transportation Engineers’ (ITE’s) Arizona Section and Mountain District, Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) Senior Research Engineer Beverly Kuhn co-led an activity during The Boeing Company’s Sept. 22 STEM Day event as part of the 2021 American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) National Conference at the Phoenix Convention Center.
The workshop topic was Circle Versus Square: Which Is Better? Roundabouts Versus All-Way Stop-Controlled Intersections. Kuhn’s co-leader for the workshop was Kohinoor Kar, an Arizona State University faculty member and a transportation engineer manager at the Arizona Department of Transportation. Dozens of high school students from different parts of the country attended this workshop, many from Native American tribes. The objective was to educate them on the difference between two types of intersections that road users often come across.
A carpet area of about 20 feet by 20 feet was used as a dummy intersection, mocked up using masking tape to mark edge lines, center lines and crosswalks. Stop, yield and directional arrow signs were placed as appropriate. The students were given a small card including a list of intersection approaches (1, 2, 3, 4) and turning movements (through, right, left, U-turn). Each card had different sequences. They had to pretend like they were a driver or pedestrian and navigate through the intersection in two different settings. Some of them already knew the rules of the road being actual drivers; others learned from this exercise. At the end, the students were asked what they thought about the two different intersection types, which one would probably be safer, and so on. The session continued for almost 4 hours. The activities were repeated as groups of students came to this booth. It was a great turnout!
Acknowledgment: The majority of this story was originally published in the fall 2021 issue of The Summit: ITE Mountain District Quarterly Magazine under the headline “2021 AISES National Conference in Phoenix: STEM Workshop Sponsored by The Boeing Company.” Used by permission of the author.