• May 06, 2024

    Showcasing WDI Student Programs at Engineering Discovery Days

    Last Friday, on May 3, 2024, PacTrans shared our Workforce Development Institute (WDI) initiatives at Engineering Discovery Days held at the University of Washington (UW). At Engineering Discovery Days, students and faculty from all UW engineering departments share their work with upwards of 10,000 students, teachers, families and the community.

    Our operations team, combined with volunteers from the PacTrans fellowship program, had a great time informing visitors about the PacTrans mission and WDI summer programs for students. The programs shared were:

    Intro to Autonomous Cars

    In this course, students learn about important topics related to autonomous vehicles (AVs) and the supporting infrastructure, and work with a team to build their own AV using LEGO Education SPIKE Prime Kits. We’ll discuss specific topics related to AVs, such as connected technology, sensing and data collection, traffic system control, electrification and more. Students practice integrating sensors, algorithms and a computing unit to automate vehicle movements. Students also take field trips to on-campus labs and hear from UW researchers and scientists. Co-sponsored by UW Youth & Teen Programs.

    Washington Transportation Camp

    Washington Transportation Camp is a FREE 6-day/5-night residential summer camp that will give highly motivated Washington state high school students the opportunity to explore the wonderful world of transportation through classes, lab tours, field trips, and student-led projects. Co-sponsored by the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT).

    Here are some quotes from our volunteers:

    It was such a pleasure to see UW campus alive with so many young students eager to learn about engineering. Watching students attempt the hardest levels in our Rush Hour game, then seeing the joy on their face as they succeed reinforces why I enjoy teaching so much, and I hope to see many of these students at future summer camps to learn more about transportation.

    – Ryan Avery, PacTrans Interim Assistant Director

    It was great to see so many young students enthusiastic about engineering and watching them engage with all the different activities. My favorite thing was engaging in conversations about transportation and engineering with these students. I believe that it is important to have events like these to engage the future generation in engineering.
    – Jonah Lorica, PacTrans Graduate Fellow

    Engaging with the students was the best part! I loved playing games with them and answering any of their questions about transportation. It couldn’t have been a better day either. We got to be outside with the perfect PNW view.

    – Kristine Pham, PacTrans Marketing & Communications Specialist