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Transportation YOU local STEM Program Kicks off 2016 with a Double Header

February 21, 2016 11:00 AM

WTS Boston’s Outreach Committee has been busy kicking off this year’s local Transportation YOU program. Transportation YOU is a hands-on, interactive, mentoring program that offers young girls ages 13-18 an introduction to a wide variety of transportation careers. Through the program, WTS chapters work to make a difference in the lives of young girls by offering programs and activities that will spark their interest in all modes of transportation and encourage them to take courses in science, math, engineering and technology (STEM), which are the stepping stones to exciting careers that can change the face of the transportation industry. Locally, WTS Boston has teamed up with the Everett Public School System, among other Boston area schools, to provide programming to each school throughout the school year.

On Tuesday, January 19th, five volunteers headed to the George Keverian School in Everett for the second installment of a five-part series of after-school STEM programs. Approximately 20 girls in grades 6-8 attended the event to learn about different types of careers that play a part in major construction projects, and specifically focused around a project familiar to all the students: the resort and casino going up in Everett. The students participated in a series of hands-on activities to learn about some of the jobs that go into such a large project. They had fun separating trail mix to learn about environmental engineering and remediation, constructing colorful pipe cleaner towers in teams to learn about structural design and typical engineering challenges, and practiced transportation planning by creating their own transportation models of the surrounding area with popsicle sticks, clay, and other craft materials. A big thank you goes out to all the volunteers who made the program possible: Debra Caminiti, Caminiti Consulting; Jill Queenan, Massport; Eamon Kernan, MassDOT; Heather Moulton, STV Incorporated; and Ali Love, STV Incorporated. The Outreach Committee will be hosting the same program with the same activities three more times in the coming months for the rest of the Everett Schools. The next after-school program to be held in Everett will be at the Madeline English School on Monday, February 29th. If you or anyone you know is interested in getting involved, more volunteers are always welcome!

As soon as the first STEM program of the day was over, volunteers headed down the street to attend the Parlin School STEM night.  This annual event invites all of the students at the school, in grades K-8, to do hands-on activities and experiments with their teachers and local groups, like the WTS Transportation YOU program, to get excited about science, technology, engineering and math. With such a wide age range, the outreach committee decided to use an activity completely separate from those used earlier that day. Volunteers Sasha Gambarov, Christian Poste, and Dan O’Keefe, all from Louis Berger, and Heather Moulton and Ali Love, from STV Incorporated, set up a fun activity to teach students about water transportation. The students used all kinds of craft materials to create their own “junk boats” and then test them in a water bin. They loaded their boats and tallied how many pennies the creations could hold before sinking. Students and volunteers alike had fun trying out various designs and making quite a mess!

The Outreach Committee is looking for new volunteers and members to help plan and attend events, so if you are interested in getting involved with Transportation YOU, please contact Ali Love (Alison.love@stvinc.com) and Katie Choe (Katie.choe@boston.gov).



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