Calif. Students Compete for National Transportation Award

Sun February 15, 2009 - West Edition

Will the next great transportation innovation emerge from the classrooms of Riverside Meadows Intermediate School? Seventh and eighth-grade students at the school could earn national recognition — and a $1,000 check for the school — by using their imaginations to create an award-winning transportation project.

Riverside Meadows Intermediate School will compete against other California and national middle schools in the Garrett Morgan Sustainable Transportation Program for the 21st Century Symposium. The program is sponsored by Caltrans, the Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) of San Jose and the Federal Highway Administration.

Each participating school will develop and present a project that is designed to address some facet of sustainable transportation. The students will present their projects at the symposium in March 2009, and the winning project will be announced at MTI’s annual scholarship awards banquet in June 2009. The winning school will receive a $1,000 check, and a student, parent, and teacher from the school receive an expense-paid trip to San Jose for the awards banquet, attended by the Secretary of Transportation. The teachers of all classes participating in the competition will receive a $50 gift certificate for project supplies.

“The Garret Morgan Symposium promotes student awareness of transportation issues and is also instrumental in fostering an interest in math and science,” said Jody Jones, Caltrans District 3 director.

The program is named in honor of Garrett Morgan, the son of former slaves, who invented the three-position traffic signal in the 1920s. The technology Morgan developed is the basis for the modern-day traffic signal.

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