Monthly Archives

July 2022

Episode 63: Introducing the next generation to DOTs and highway maintenance

By Podcasts

On this episode we are going to introduce you to three programs designed to introduce K-12 students to a variety of science and engineering concepts used by DOTs and highway maintenance. AASHTO’s TRAC™ (Transportation and Civil Engineering) & RIDES (Roadways in Developing Elementary Students) outreach programs are designed for educators to use as part of their Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) classes and Front Range Community College’s Senior Seminar in Public Works and Highway Maintenance offers high school seniors the opportunity to learn about highway maintenance in the class room and on the job through internships.

Julia Smith, AASHTO’s TRAC™ & RIDES Program Manager, discusses some of the modules that are part of the program and how educators can incorporate them into their curriculum. In addition to the most popular bridge building module there are modules on how salt depresses the freezing point of water, pavement friction, and environmental impacts facing DOT’s among many others. These hands on activities are designed to to introduce students to the world of transportation and civil engineering, giving them a new perspective on how the world around them works and may inspire them to consider a career in these fields.

Sue Baillargeon, Director of the Highway Maintenance Program at Front Range Community College, has introduced a Senior Seminar in Public Works and Road Maintenance to the Highway Maintenance Management Degree offering. Designed for high school seniors, this program introduces them to world of highway maintenance through class room and independent study along with on the job training through an internship at a maintenance garage.

For more information on TRAC™ & RIDES follow this link:
or contact Julia Smith at

For more information on the Senior Seminar in Public Works and Road Maintenance program and the Highway Maintenance Management Degree follow this link:
or contact Sue Baillargeon at

1:50 TRAC & RIDE description
2:50 How does TRAC & RIDE work
5:25 Some RIDES activities
7:38 The educators perspective of the program
10:31 Some TRAC activities
13:15 Introduction to the Senior Seminar Program
17:11 Program details
19:32 Internships
21:56 Students can participate from anywhere in the US
25:10 how to get more information on these programs
28:22 How these programs change student perspectives