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TRAC and RIDES

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DOTD Secretary Shawn Wilson pictured with student team—Connor, Victoria, and Elizabeth—from STEM Magnet Academy of Pointe Coupee, led by teacher Lindsay Stagg.

Congratulations to the student team—Connor, Victoria, and Elizabeth—from STEM Magnet Academy of Pointe Coupee, led by teacher Lindsay Stagg. They are the first team from Louisiana to compete in the National TRAC™ Bridge Challenge. The TRAC™ (Transportation and Civil Engineering) program supplies teachers throughout the country with resources for use in their science, math, and social science classrooms. Through these federally funded AASHTO educational outreach programs, teachers are invited to LTRC every year for a two-day, hands on learning event conducted by National Board Certified teachers. During the two days, teachers become the students as they are challenged with interactive activities and equipped with hundreds of lesson plans, a trunk of free supplies, and hours of activities and software that will captivate their students. Schools who have participated in these workshops are then eligible to compete in the annual Bridge Challenge. Participating teams developed a truss bridge and submitted a project portfolio for evaluation; the six teams chosen for the final competition presented their projects and structurally tested their bridges against teams from other states.

TRAC and RIDES are programs used to introduce students in grades K-12 to the work world of transportation and civil engineering and inspire them to consider careers in those fields. They both include hands-on, activity based curriculum enhancement programs designed for use in science, math, and social science classes. Both programs are aligned to national standards. Through TRAC and RIDES, students utilize critical thinking skills to solve real world problems, thereby preparing them for the workforce and strengthening the future scientific and math workforce pool. This workshop offers teachers hands on training on how to incorporate the program and materials to use in their classrooms. There is no registration or attendance fee to this federally funded workshop. The only cost to schools is the teacher’s time away from the classroom and a substitute teacher.

The TRAC (TRAnsportation and Civil Engineering) program is geared for use in high schools and 7th-8th grade (7th-12th). The TRAC program modules are trunk-like containers with 6-8 activities in each module. With the TRAC workshop we give every school one set of modules to use in the classroom. The TRAC modules consist of the following: bridge builder, construction, environmental, maglev, motion, and safety.

RIDES (Roadways Into Developing Elementary Students) is intended for grades K-8. Each attendee will receive a manual that consists of over 100 activities and each school will leave with one “trunk” of materials to use in their classroom.

Click below to read a recent article about TRAC and RIDES from Technology Today, LTRC's quarterly newsletter.

TRAC and RIDES in Motion in Area Classrooms