Baton Rouge, LA – The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) announced today that they will unveil newly-created engineering programs for students at the Kenilworth Science and Technology Charter School’s (KST) Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Expo.
The STEM Expo is scheduled for Saturday, October 27, 2012, 9 a.m. until 2 p.m., in the Kenilworth Subdivision at 7600 Boone Drive in Baton Rouge (http://www.batonrougestemexpo.org/).
DOTD is participating in the expo in partnership with the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, Louisiana State University’s College of Human Science and Education, and the Louisiana Transportation Research Center.
The programs being unveiled include: Roadways Into Developing Elementary Students (RIDES) intended for grades K-8 and Transportation and Civil Engineering (TRAC) intended for use in high schools. These programs serve as a recruitment tool to introduce students to engineering, construction, and road maintenance fields.
The RIDES program contains a teacher reference guide designed for two teachers to share and includes a two-day intensive training program conducted by Nationally Certified teachers. The program encourages critical thinking and problem solving skills. It also teaches students about careers in the transportation industry, especially civil engineering.
"Programs like these are essential to help us promote the exciting field of engineering," said DOTD Secretary Sherri H. LeBas. "These programs will have a lasting and profound benefit for our young students, who are the future of the transportation industry."
"Kenilworth is proud to work with DOTD to motivate students to consider degrees and careers in the science and engineering fields," Kenilworth Principal Hasan Suzuk said. "Thanks to local partners like DOTD, LSU and the Transportation Research Center, Kenilworth has been able to raise standards and achieve great academic results."
At the heart of the TRAC program is the "TRAC PAC" which consists of eight self-contained education modules featuring professionally developed curricula that meet the national standards for science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Each TRAC module contains a teacher reference guide, a volunteer guidebook, a movie showing how each activity works, and the equipment, software, and supplies needed to perform up to 75 hands-on activities related to: Bridge Design, Highway Safety, City Planning, Environmental Design, Traffic Technology and Magnetic Levitation. TRAC also serves as a solution for a shortage in future workers in these key fields.
DOTD has received an $80,000 grant to fund the RIDES and TRAC programs. The funding will allow DOTD to purchase 10 RIDES packages and 10 TRAC packages for area schools. For more information about the outreach programs, please visit http://mmsd.transportation.org/trac_rides/.
KST is a charter school operated by Pelican Education Foundation under the state of Louisiana’s Recovery School District. Formerly a part of the East Baton Rouge Parish school system, Kenilworth was acquired in 2009 by Pelican Educational Foundation, a non-profit, Louisiana-based corporation, and has since operated as a state-sanctioned charter school. KST has seen three consecutive years of improvement in school performance scores and in LEAP test scores. Specifically, the percentage of students performing at grade level for all grades and subjects grew from 40 percent in 2009 to 53 percent in 2012.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) is committed to delivering transportation and public works systems that enhance the quality of life. In addition to more than 16,600 miles of roadway, including over 890 miles of interstate, DOTD supports the development of the state’s aviation, marine and rail infrastructures. Through this work, we are able to facilitate economic development, create job opportunities, improve vital evacuation routes, and make critical freight corridors safer and more efficient.
For more information, please visit www.dotd.la.gov, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call DOTD’s Customer Service Center at (225) 379-1232 or 1-877-4LADOTD (1-877-452-3683). Business hours are 7:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Motorists can access up-to-date travel information by dialing 511 or by visiting www.511la.org. Out-of-state travelers can call 1-888-ROAD-511 (1-888-762-3511).