2016 Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) Program Support

The ATLAS Center at TTI incorporated transportation safety elements into existing TTI interactions with the AVID program in College Station Independent School District schools. Creating this relationship at the middle school level creates opportunity to continue to work with students in the program through high school to foster and sustain students’ interest in transportation careers.



In May 2016, the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) hosted two field trips to its facilities at the Texas A&M University campus in College Station, Texas. Activities conducted during these field trips promoted science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields and careers in transportation engineering and other transportation fields.

Description and Conduct of Event

In Fall, 2015, 31 eighth grade Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) students and 3 teachers from A&M Consolidated Middle School in College Station, Texas, visited TTI. In May, 2016, 32 seventh grade and 63 sixth grade AVID students and 8 teachers from Cypress Grove Intermediate School, in College Station, College Station Middle School, and Oakwood Intermediate School in College Station, Texas, visited TTI. AVID is an in-school academic support program for grades 4–12 that prepares underserved students (predominantly minority and economically disadvantaged) in the academic middle for college eligibility and success.



Each field trip began with Melisa Finley making a 15-minute presentation to the entire group about the transportation industry and careers in engineering. Melisa designed the presentation to promote interaction between the researcher and students. Chiara Dobrovolny then showed the students a 30-minute video presentation of past TTI crash tests. During the video she discussed the science behind crash tests and answered questions. The students were then divided into four breakout groups. The following break-out activities were conducted simultaneously, with students rotating to a different activity every 30 minutes.

  • Up close with traffic control devices.
  • Transportation and the environment.
  • Bikes are vehicles too! Safe and smart biking skills.
  • Distracted driving.

texting-while-driving1  texting-while-driving2

2016 George Bush Presidential Library and Museum Summer Camp Support

During the summer of 2016, the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum will offer summer camps for students ages 7 through 11. The camps will be held for five consecutive weeks beginning July 11th and ending on august 12th. The 2016 theme is Transportation: Riding, Driving, and Flying into the Future. The camps actively engage young learners and inform them in a fun way about U.S. history, government, and transportation. One day each week the students will visit the Texas A&M Transportation Institute for an all-day field trip. During their visit they will learn about the history of transportation, transportation and the environment, seat belt use, traffic signals, traffic control devices (signs and pavement markings), roadside safety devices, and/or crash testing. Between 15 to 20 students are expected each week.

The ATLAS Center funded the materials needed for activities and Melisa Finley’s efforts to develop the agenda, coordinate activities, and host the event. 

 AVID Summary Program

George Bush Presidential Library and Museum Summer Camp Support Program

For further information, please contact Melisa Finley.

Melisa Finley1

Melisa Finley
Research Engineer, TTI

The ATLAS Center is a collaboration between the University of Michigan (U-M) Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) and Texas A&M Transportation Institute