High Schoolers Consider Real-World Traffic Engineering Problems with the W+A Team

High Schoolers Consider Real-World Transportation Engineering Problems with the W+A Team

Last year we reported about our involvement in encouraging STEM education at a local high school in the Washington, DC area. For a number of years, two of our engineers, Brian Horan and Melissa Hish, have spent time with these high schoolers to describe the opportunities and benefits of pursuing a STEM education and career. We also discuss actual traffic engineering problems in the students’ home region of Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.

Brian and Melissa’s most recent visit occurred this winter to Mr. Grodek’s SciMethodology class at Paul VI High School in Fairfax, Virginia. This presentation gives students insights into engineering careers during or just after they finish the civil engineering section of their studies.

What STEM related topics were on tap for Brian and Melissa’s latest visit? Possible jobs and careers that students can pursue with a university engineering degree, what it’s like to work as an engineer, the operational aspects of running an engineering company, and the analytical issues that engineers need to consider in their work for clients.

Traffic Engineering Challenges in Virginia, Maryland, and DC

Since Paul VI High School will relocate to a new campus in neighboring Loudoun County in the next few years, the students had the opportunity to consider the real-world transportation engineering aspects of their school’s pending move.

So when it comes to transportation engineering and planning, especially as it relates to their own school, what piques high schoolers’ interest the most? Things like:

  • Discussing incompatible land uses in the DMV (DC, Maryland, Virginia) region
  • Thinking about how they would redevelop the land their school currently occupies
  • Considering real-world traffic signal timings and simulations
  • Reviewing the potential new school site

We hope many of them end up pursuing a STEM field!