The Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at the University of Utah hosted the annual National Transportation Summer Institute Camp on July 11 – July 15, 2016. The department hosted 23, incoming, 9th grade students. The camp targeted students who are interested in exploring engineering, specifically transportation engineering, as a career.
As part of the camp, the students worked on creating a digital presentation. Students divided into four groups and covered various topics about transportation. Groups focused on defining transportation engineering, explaining how infrastructure is built and paid for, cost of transportation infrastructure, and new innovation and design of traffic systems. Students spent time learning about these topics throughout the week and interviewed each other about what they learned. At the end of the week, each group gave a short presentation on what they learned about their assigned topics.
One of the camp activities included listening to various speakers from Union Pacific, UTA, UDOT, and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Students were able to interact with industry professionals and ask questions about the different aspects of transportation engineering. A favorite activity of the students was visiting the UDOT Airport Hangar and driving the simulator in the Civil Engineering Traffic Lab. Students also tested the speed of cars driving around campus with radar guns. The students participated in numerous field trips throughout the week including visits to the TOC at UDOT, several construction sites in the local area, as well as the Front Runner and Light Rail facilities.The week wrapped up with the students testing concrete materials in the lab that they had created earlier in the week.
Overall, the camp was a great success. The participants enjoyed the field trips and learning more about transportation engineering.