K-12 Outreach

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.

Road to College Starts Here  Three children

On May 2, 2014, 43 sixth grade Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) students and 6 teachers from Oakwood Intermediate School in College Station, Texas, visited TTI.  On May 9, 2014, 27 AVID students and 4 teachers from Cypress Grove 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
    • Being a safe passenger: short talk and demonstration

The ATLAS Center funded the materials needed for activities and Melisa Finley’s efforts to develop the agenda, coordinate activities, and host the event. Melisa produced an AVID Program Analysis report.

Spring Programs:

Oakwood Intermediate School (CSISD – College Station ISD)

Texting Simulation - Oakwood Puff Mobile Activity - Oakwood Pavement Marking Exercise - Oakwood

(Texting Simulation, Puff Mobile Activity and Pavement Marking Exercise)

Cypress Grove Intermediate School (CSISD)/span>

Simulator Texting Mesh pic boy and girl with scope

(Texting Simulation, Infrastructure activity, and Pavement Marking Exercise)

Take a look at the agenda for the days activities for both schools.

For further information, please contact the AVID program coordinator and read Melisa’s report on the program here:

Melisa Finley1

Melisa Finley
Research Engineer, TTI
m-finley@tamu.edu 

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

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