As of October 1, 2016, the SWUTC concluded its 28 years of operation and is no longer an active center of the Texas A&M Transportation Institute. The archived SWUTC website remains available here.

476660-00020-1 Report Abstract

Extreme Makeover: Using Technology and Social Networks for Outreach and to Update Existing Transportation Modules

Debbie Jasek, Texas A&M University, October 2010, 19 pp. (476660-00020-1)

In the past SWUTC has funded numerous projects for transportation outreach for K-12. These projects included: the Transportation Road Show (2002), Careers in Transportation (2003), the Rural Transportation Institute (2004), and Transportation Engineering Education and Outreach Pilot Program Targeting Students in Grades K-12 (1999).  Over the past 11 years these modules and presentations have been viewed by over 15,000 students. Some modules are still currently being used by outreach personnel. However, many of the modules are outdated and desperately in needed a makeover in order to make them relevant for today’s student audiences.

Technology and the technological IQ of the target audience have changed tremendously in the past 11 years. Today’s students surf the web, communicate through Facebook and MySpace, and they also communicate through Twitter and websites such as Squidoo.  Many students read blogs on a daily basis, the way older generations read newspapers. Interfacing with students through media that they use on a constant basis will cast a wider net to reach a diverse population of students.  This project forms a basis for future outreach projects, by updating previously developed materials, creating a new portal website that can be used for outreach and blogging, as well as the creation of Facebook transportation outreach groups for students.

Keywords: Careers in Transportation, Careers in Engineering, STEM, Transportation Outreach Programs

ENTIRE REPORT (Adobe Acrobat File – 168 KB)