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Workforce of the Future: Ideas for Improving K-12 Outreach by Transportation Engineering Educators through Near-Peer Involvement and Leveraging Contextual Exposure

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

K-12 and Pre-College Engineering Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.1402.1 - 24.1402.12



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Paper Authors


N. Nezamuddin Valparaiso University

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Dr. Nezamuddin is an assistant professor of Civil Engineering at Valparaiso University. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Texas – Austin in 2011, his Master’s degree from the University of Central Florida in 2006, and his Bachelor’s degree from the India Institute of Technology in Delhi in 2003. He is excited to prepare new generations of aspiring students by serving, not only as a teacher, but also as a mentor. His research interest is in the area of modeling transportation systems.

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Anurag Pande Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo

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Dr. Anurag Pande has been an engineering educator for more than 7 years. Cal Poly being a largely undergraduate institution has a distinguished record of incentivizing its faculty member towards teaching excellence. During his tenure at Cal Poly Dr. Pande has received internal grants to develop new courses and modify existing courses with a significant technological component. It has led Dr. Pande to implement several pedagogical modifications in his classrooms including the ones he mastered through the ExCEEd (Excellence in Civil Engineering Education) fellowship sponsored by ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers). He also has significant experience in statistical analysis of transportation safety data. He is recipient of the Young Researcher Award from the Transportation Research Board Committee on Safety Data, Analysis, and Evaluation. He has co-authored more than 25 manuscripts that have been either published or are forthcoming in peer reviewed journals such as AAP, TRR, and IEEE transactions on ITS.

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Workforce of the Future: Ideas for Improving K-12 Outreach by Transportation Engineering Educators through Near-Peer Involvement and Leveraging Contextual ExposureSafe and efficient transportation systems are absolutely essential to our modern lives. They alsorequire a sustainable supply of educated and competent workforce for smooth functioning in thefuture. The Transportation Research Board and the National Academy of Engineering anticipatea shortfall in this workforce in the future against increased demand for moving goods andproviding services. This study reviewed general engineering and transportation specific outreachefforts to K-12 students for transportation engineering workforce development, and purposedideas which have the potential for success in this regard. Federal Highway Administration(FHWA) sponsored summer transportation institute are the most common transportationengineering outreach efforts. Hands-on activities at these summer institutes, such as collection ofvehicle speed data using a radar gun and urban planning using the computer game SimCity, arepopular with high school students. However, the review found no longitudinal study rigorouslyevaluating these efforts. Outreach efforts from other fields show that the near-peer activities andleveraging of contextual exposure to transportation in daily lives can make the transportationspecific outreach programs more effective. This paper recommends an approach to address asignificant need for workforce development by generating student interest in the field. Theapproach should: i) have tangible connections between a course concept and the professionalaspects of transportation engineering in order to enhance the students’ cognitive learning; and ii)facilitate activities by near-peers to enhance the affective domain of the learning process.Key words: Workforce development, contextual exposure, near-peer involvement, K-12outreach.

Nezamuddin, N., & Pande, A. (2014, June), Workforce of the Future: Ideas for Improving K-12 Outreach by Transportation Engineering Educators through Near-Peer Involvement and Leveraging Contextual Exposure Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--22792

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