Community Outreach

UTCRS Student Group

The U.S.. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that there will be a 20% growth for all engineers between 2008 and 2018 and that transportation engineers have potential to command lucrative salaries. Currently, the number of students majoring in transportation engineering is declining. The number of students graduating with specialization in transportation engineering from domestic universities will not accommodate the 20% growth in the industry estimated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

While many students are aware of mechanical, electrical, civil, and chemical engineering, many have never thought of railway or even transportation engineering as a discipline. They are unaware of the opportunities and challenges in the design and implementation of transportation infrastructure, equipment and facilities. The main goal of UTCRS outreach activities is to teach elementary students about transportation engineering in an engaging, interactive, and hands-on ways and encourage secondary students to view the field of transportation engineering as a viable career option.

Five-week summer camps for K-12 students designed to teach introductory concepts in transportation engineering through hands-on, interactive activities are offered. Continuous professional development workshops for teachers are provided to assist them in developing lesson plans that they can use to teach students STEM concepts and how to apply these concepts to solve real-world problems in transportation engineering and railway safety. Two-day professional development workshops are offered by the UTCRS at the UTRGV campus for teachers, educators, and program coordinators in conjunction with the Research Experience for Teachers (RET) program.