TRAC is a hands-on education program designed for use in science, math and social science classes. By engaging students in solving real-world problems such as magnetic-levitation transportation, TRAC connects high school students to the work world of civil engineering and inspires them to consider careers in transportation.
TRAC tries to attract women, African Americans, Hispanics and American Indians by going into schools with large populations of these groups.
TRAC is currently operating in 58 Maryland schools, mostly in Baltimore City, Prince George's and Montgomery counties. Three of the schools are all female, two are all male and the rest are co-ed.
During 1997 State Highway Administration (SHA) competitively selected seven interns from high schools to spend the summer working in a civil engineering environment. The group consisted of two Caucasian males and five females--three African American and two Caucasian.
Students are introduced to civil engineering by participating in classroom engineering experiments with a transportation flavor.
TRAC is a 50/50 partnership between public and private sectors. Several private engineering firms participate by providing funds and volunteers.
As part of the program volunteer engineers serve as mentors, visit classrooms and work directly with students.
SHA has been a participant since TRAC's inception in 1991 and in schools since 1994.
For more information about the TRAC program call SHA at 1-800-323-6742.