Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Applications are being accepted for FREE overnight high school transportation camps this summer

By Lisa Walzl

Are you a high school student curious about how we decide where highways go, what we’re doing to help the earth by reducing our carbon footprint or how we plan for the future of transportation while keeping people and goods moving? Ever just wanted to get a behind the scenes tour of a bridge or other parts of our state transportation system? Know a teenager who does?

If so, we have a summer camp experience for you. For the first time ever we’re offering high school students a chance to spend a week exploring the transportation field with statewide experts, agency leaders and university professors at our 2023 PacTrans-WSDOT Summer High School Transportation Camps.

One of the camps will take place at WSU, where students will learn a wide-range of transportation topics including how we incorporate multimodal objectives into our planning.

We’re offering two free camps this summer, both of which include staying overnight at a state university. One is a five-day camp at Washington State University in Pullman from July 24-29. The second is a six-day camp at the University of Washington in Seattle from Aug. 13-18. Students will stay on campus in university dormitories during the camp. All lodging and meals are covered by sponsors so there are no costs to the students.

The deadline to apply for both camps is June 15. Camps are limited to 20 students. To be considered, applicants must be entering 9th, 10th, 11th or 12th grade at a Washington state school for the fall 2023 semester, have a 2.0 GPA or higher and be able to attend the entire session. You don’t need previous experience in engineering or transportation – but curiosity is a must!

To learn more about these programs and to apply, visit this link for the camp website.

With a Link light rail station basically on campus, the UW was an obvious place to hold
one of our two transportation camps.

Both camps offer students the chance to:

  • Explore current and future transportation topics, issues and challenges – including why past decisions were made and what we’d do differently now.
  • Take field trips to observe major transportation investments like bridges, transportation management centers and learn how they’re engineered. And some non-engineering field trips like boating on Lake Washington or taking a bike ride to the WSU Creamery cheese factory in Pullman.
  • Learn directly from professionals and researchers in a variety of transportation topics – engineering, urban planning, supply chain logistics, environmental justice, geography and the future of connected and autonomous vehicles (aka self-driving vehicles).
  • Participate in hands-on projects.

This could be the start of a career in transportation, engineering, planning or a whole host of other fields. But even if it’s not, participants will have a better understanding of how we all get where we’re going as well as how the things we buy and need get to store shelves or our homes – and what goes into making those trips as safe and smooth as possible. And some pretty good stories to share with friends and family about the unique experience you had over the summer.

We hope to see you there!