A quality education is one of the most valuable tools a person has at their disposal. Education opens the doors to many opportunities later in life.
The Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) is committed to maintaining and improving Mississippi’s transportation infrastructure, investing in the educational opportunities for young people in our state.
MDOT recognizes the need to have well-educated engineers to ensure the safety of our transportation infrastructure for years to come. To help meet this need MDOT invests in and supports multiple education outreach programs that focus on STEM education in order to get young people excited about civil engineering and careers in the transportation industry.
MDOT is pleased to announce that students from Guntown Middle School in Guntown recently won the Sustainable Transportation Competition, part of the Garrett A. Morgan Technology and Transportation Futures Program; a national program aimed at preparing students to become the next generation of transportation leaders by providing learning tools and technologies they can apply to future careers in transportation.
“Education is the fundamental building block to prepare our youth for tomorrow’s challenges and opportunities,” said former U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta.
The Garrett A. Morgan Sustainable Transportation Competition is hosted each year by the Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) which was founded by Secretary Mineta.
In May, Luke Smith, Britton Smith and Brandon Dillard traveled to Washington, D.C where they presented their project to U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx and other transportation leaders.
The team’s project, called “The Hydrogen Initiative,” proposed the idea of Americans moving away from fossil fuels to using hydrogen to fuel motor vehicles. The team explained how a hydrogen vehicle processed hydrogen and produced energy with the only byproducts being oxygen and water. Some of the benefits of these byproducts are fewer harmful emissions into our atmosphere and the possibility of drought reduction across the U.S. The team also explained how hydrogen was separated by electrolysis into the pure element to be used as fuel. They also proposed hydrogen filling stations being built across the United States.
The team traveled to San Jose, California in June, where they received a trophy and $1,000 check at the MTI’s annual scholarship awards banquet.
“This competition is another way to showcase how Mississippi’s students are learning about transportation while studying science, technology, engineering and math,” said Commissioners Dick Hall, Tom King and Mike Tagert in a joint statement from the Mississippi Transportation Commission. “This competition, along with MDOT’s TRAC and RIDES programs, is helping shape the next generation of transportation leaders.”
Earlier this year the team also competed the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO) National TRAC Bridge Building Competition in Cheyenne, Wyoming where they placed third.
The Garrett Morgan Sustainable Transportation Competition was instituted by former Secretary of Transportation Rodney Slater, who wished to encourage young people to consider careers in transportation. The MTI has sponsored a competition every year since 2001.
MDOT’s TRAC program introduces students to a wide variety of career opportunities in the field of engineering and teaches students how to apply math and science concepts to help identify and resolve engineering barriers in the transportation system.
For more information about MDOT’s education outreach programs, visit www.GoMDOT.com.