Curriculum Development for K-12 Sustainable Transportation Education Phase 1 High School Students
Curriculum Development for K-12 Sustainable Transportation Education: Phase 1 High School Students
University of Idaho
JJ Petersen, Michael Lowry, K LaPaglia, B. Tower
U of I Civil & Environmental Engineering
PI Contact Information
U of I Civil & Environmental Engineering
Funding Sources and Amounts Provided
US Department of Transportation — $28,697
University of Idaho — $28,697 match
Total Project Cost
Agency ID or Contract Number
Description of Research Project
This project will develop curriculum for an education module covering three sustainable transportation topics: vehicle technology, transportation infrastructure, and transportation science. The module will be designed for activity-based learning and will target an audience of 15-25 high school students. The module will be developed and delivered as part of the 2013 University of Idaho TRIO Upward Bound Summer Camp; however, the module will be developed such that it can be transferred and delivered in other settings.
Implementation of Research Outcomes
We created an Instructor’s Guide for a ten-day summer camp. The guide is comprised of three units related to sustainable transportation. The first three days are part of the Vehicle Technology unit. Topics covered during the Vehicle Technology unit include vehicle dynamics, engine design, and emissions and pollutants. The next four days are part of the Traffic Engineering and Operations unit. Topics covered during these days include vehicle detection, coordinated intersections, traffic safety, and geometric highway design. The final three days are part of the Transportation Science and Planning unit. Topics covered during these days include traffic forecasting, bicycle and pedestrian planning, and public transportation.
- Day 1: Vehicle Dynamics — Calculate Vehicle Forces
- Day 2: Engine Design — Test Engines
- Day 3: Emissions and Pollutants — Calculate Emissions
Traffic and Engineering Operations
- Day 4: Vehicle Detection — Design Loop Detector
- Day 5: Coordinated Intersections — Coordinate Traffic Signals
- Day 6: Traffic Safety — Use Driver Simulator
- Day 7: Highway Design — Design a Highway Section
- Day 8: Traffic Forecasting — Estimate Traffic Impacts
- Day 9: Bicycle and Pedestrian Planning — Conduct Pedestrian Audit
- Day 10: Public Transportation — Plan a Bus Route
We delivered a two week summer camp on the U of I campus. Working with STEM Access Upward Bound, we hosted and taught 21 high schools students. The students stayed in the dorms on campus and met in the engineering building each day for lessons and activities.
We orchestrated a week long field trip to Washington DC. After the on-campus summer camp, went took the students to Washington DC, to meet with congressmen, learn about transportation policy, and experience the traffic of a large city. During this time, the students traveled primarily by walking or riding the metro, which allowed them to experience unfamiliar types of transportation. Additionally, one day was spent biking through the city, which allowed the students to understand why multimodal transportation is important to consider.
We surveyed and interviewed the student participants to assess learning and impact from the summer camp. The students were surveyed before and after the summer camp using an assessment tool called Test of Science Related Attitudes (TORSA). We are currently preparing a scholarly publication to report our findings.
Impacts and Benefits of the Project
- Instructor’s Guide. This 55-page document provides lesson plans for 10 sustainable transportation topics. Universities across the country can use our instructor’s guide to deliver a summer camp. The 10 modular sections can be adapted and improved to fit the needs of any institution.
- Successful summer camp. Twenty-one high school students gained an appreciation and understanding of transportation. These students have a much greater likelihood of entering a career in transportation. Furthermore, they shared and will continue to share their positive experience with friends and family.
- Collaboration network. Our visit to Washington, DC provided the opportunity to network with other transportation professionals. We were able to share information about our research and University program.
Final Report: UI_TranLIVE_Final Report_Instructor Guide
STEM Access Summer Activities Blog
- education and training