June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
K-12 & Pre-College Engineering
24.1402.1 - 24.1402.12
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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