In July of 2015, the Florida International University played host to 17 high school students at the 2015 FIU Summer Transportation Camp. Held over two weeks at the campus by FIU's Lehman Center for Transportation Research, the camp was sponsored by NCTSPM, the U.S. Department of Transportation, and the Accelerated Bridge Construction University Transportation Center at FIU.
Every day, students gathered to learn about transportation and bridge engineering through an action-filled, hands-on approach to both transportation and bridge engineering.
In transportation engineering, they were introduced to both traditional traffic management strategies and emerging intelligent transportation systems. The students visited the Florida Department of Transportation's District 6 Traffic Management Center, and learned firsthand about traffic operations in the district. The students also visited Miami International Airport, and explored the airfield and the Miami Intermodal Center. They also participated in a study evaluating alternatives signs for use on interstate express lanes, and they enjoyed taking part in driving simulation experiments at the FIU Driving Simulator Laboratory.
Students also learned about the many faces of bridge design, through their bridge engineering focus. They learned about different types of bridge, identifying the development of internal forces in structural members, designing bridge joints and connection details, and considering possible loading scenarios under extreme events and material degradation. Also covered were prefabricated elements and systems, and their role in accelerating the process of bridge construction. The students got a chance to put their learning into practice through a balsa wood bridge construction project, and they tested their knowledge on the final day of the camp through a Jeopardy-style competition.
Photo courtesy of Albert Gan, Florida International University.