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Volpe hosts students for STEM mentoring.

In December 2016, the John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center hosted 21 high school engineering students from Newton Country Day School, an all-girls college preparatory school in Massachusetts.

During their visit, two groups of students alternated between a "speed mentoring" session and a tour of the center's simulators. Each student had a hands-on opportunity to try at least one of Volpe's three simulators, including test driving a car, operating a train, or flying an airplane. Researchers use the simulators for human factors experiments to study how participants handle various new or dangerous scenarios--such as what drivers do when their brakes stop working.

The Boston chapter of WTS, an international organization that promotes the advancement of women in transportation, organized the event and partnered with Volpe to host the Newton Country Day School students. Fifteen volunteers from WTS and Volpe staff spoke to the students about the variety of careers available in transportation and the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.

Luisa Paiewonsky, director of Volpe s Center for Infrastructure Systems and Technology, offered the students advice on the many technical and nontechnical skills they will use throughout their collegiate and professional careers. She also described the breadth and depth of projects managed at Volpe, which include all modes and various topic areas, such as the environmental impacts of transportation, human factors and safety concerns, and infrastructure resilience.


Caption: A Volpe staff member demonstrates to a student how eye-tracking technology works.

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Title Annotation:Public Information and Information Exchange; science, technology, engineering, and mathematics; Volpe National Transportation Systems Center
Publication:Public Roads
Article Type:Brief article
Date:May 1, 2017
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