K-12 Educational Program Inspires Youth for Careers in Transportation and Civil Engineering
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Date: March 17, 2015
Michael Baker International, a leader in transportation and civil engineering, has announced its partnership with the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) to adopt the states of Pennsylvania and Wisconsin for the TRAC & Rides program. The program is an educational outreach designed for use in K-12 Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) classes to inspire youth to consider careers in transportation and civil engineering. As the growing demand for engineers continues to rise steeply worldwide to address our aging infrastructure and demand for new highways, bridges, storm water systems, and intelligent transportation systems, this program is considered a vital link between our students and America’s future.
“It’s just the right thing to do,” stated James M. Twomey, P.E., Michael Baker International executive vice president and transportation market lead, regarding the company’s support of AASHTO’s TRAC & Rides program. “By sponsoring the student’s National Bridge and Structures Competition held at the AASHTO Spring Meeting in May, as well as “adopting” two states, Michael Baker International has taken this valuable opportunity to give back to the profession and the community to benefit the future of our industry and our country.”
The sponsorship of Pennsylvania and Wisconsin primarily includes: 1) covering the states’ memberships to the AASHTO TRAC & Rides program; 2) providing Michael Baker International and DOT engineers to schools throughout both states to teach key elements of the program; and 3) volunteering engineers to interact with student groups to discuss the importance of science, technology, engineering, and math to inspire them to seek exciting careers in these fields. Company transportation experts will also assist teachers in incorporating hands-on activities to teach students the importance of math and science.
“Having the opportunity to work with children to share knowledge, experience and real life examples, while enriching the lives of future engineers, is humbling,” said Alicia A. DeShasier, P.E., Michael Baker International transportation engineer in Madison, Wisconsin and TRAC & Rides program manager for Michael Baker International. “Mentoring children alongside their teachers, and supporting AASHTO’s TRAC & Rides Program and National Bridge and Structures Competition, are true examples of our company’s philosophy: We Make a Difference.”
The 2015 TRAC National Bridge and Structures Competition will be held on May 13-15, 2015 in Cheyenne, Wyoming at AASHTO’s Spring Meeting, the location of AASHTO’s 2015 President and Wyoming DOT Director, John Cox. This program will be provided for the students who are selected for the competition, through a proposal and jury process emulating an engineering proposal process. The educational opportunity will involve tours of highlighted engineering sites in Cheyenne, building of model structures, presentations of the structures project by 12 student teams from across the country, testing of the stability of the structures built by the students, and an awards program. DeShasier, a gold medalist in the javelin throw at the 2011 Pan American Games, will present “You Can Do Anything” at a student dinner and will serve as a judge for the program. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alicia_DeShasier
“On behalf of AASHTO’S TRAC program, I would like to thank Michael Baker International for their generous support of the National Bridge and Structures Competition,” stated Linda Clifton, AASHTO TRAC manager. “Through this sponsorship, Michael Baker International has shown their commitment for expanding STEM education and promoting careers in the transportation industry.”
For more information about the TRAC & Rides program, please visit: http://mmsd.transportation.org/trac_rides/. Last year’s winners of the National Bridge and Structures Competition can be viewed at: http://mmsd.transportation.org/trac_rides/awards.aspx
AASHTO is a nonprofit, nonpartisan association representing highway and transportation departments in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. It represents all five transportation modes: air, highways, public transportation, rail and water. Its primary goal is to foster the development, operation and maintenance of an integrated national transportation system. AASHTO works to educate the public and key decision makers about the critical role that transportation plays in securing a good quality life and sound economy for our nation.
About Michael Baker International
Michael Baker International is a leading global provider of engineering and consulting services which includes planning, architectural, environmental, construction, program management, and full life cycle support services as well as information technology and communications services and solutions. The company provides its comprehensive range of services and solutions in support of U.S. federal, state, and municipal governments, foreign allied governments, and a wide range of commercial clients. Michael Baker International has more than 5,000 employees in over 90 locations located across the U.S. and internationally.
Contact: Wendy Jones