August 13, 2009

Media Advisory -- Transportation Institute

Reporters, photographers and camera crews are welcome to cover a field trip by 20 Metro East middle school students to the Illinois Department of Transportation District 8 office in Collinsville on Friday, Aug. 14. The field trip is part of a one-week Summer Transportation Institute hosted by Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, College of Applied Sciences and Arts, and College of Engineering.

The field trip is from 1 to 3 p.m. in the IDOT District 8 office, 1102 Eastport Drive, Collinsville. The students will meet with IDOT Deputy Director and Region 5 engineer Mary Lamie and her staff.

The camp is through a grant from IDOT and the Federal Highway Administration. The goal of the camp is to increase the number of minority and female students interest in careers in the transportation industry, engineering and technology fields, said Linda Renee Baker, a university professor with the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute.

“Through exposing these youth it is our intent toincrease the interest required to excel in these fields,” she said. “Theprojects aredesigned to focus on hands-onactivities and the speakers are working directly with the students topromote making math and science fun.”

The camp also featured building radio-controlled scale models of hovercrafts, discussions on highway materials and traffic flow problems, and a visit to the University’s nationally recognized aviation programs at Southern Illinois Airport. More than a dozen middle school students participated in a similar weeklong program last week in Carbondale.

For more information on the program, contact Baker at 217/553-6660.