Garrett Morgan Competition: May 11.

US Dot Garrett Morgan logo

The Fifteenth Annual Garrett Morgan Competition for Sustainable Transportation is set for a national video-conference on Monday, May 11, 2015. Eight middle-school teams from around the nation have registered to compete for the $1,000 first prize for their classroom. Not only do they get to show off their creativity for solving transportation challenges, they also get to talk with US Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx and retired US Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta.

MTI provides the curriculum, and the students work with mentors from transportation professions, who help guide their projects. In the past, students have created a wind-powered bus, new transit routes for their city, a video public service announcement to encourage transit use, bio-fuels from algae, an emergency ferry system, photo-voltaic paint for cars, a new carpooling system, and much more.

The program, started by former US Secretary of Transportation Rodney Slater, inspires young people to consider careers in transportation. Most of them come away with a new understanding about the importance of mobility, the challenges of traffic gridlock, possible solutions to environmental issues, the problems of single-occupant vehicles, and other problems associated with a growing population.

All participants receive signed certificates. Second- and third-place teams receive $300 and $200 respectively. The competition is sponsored by MTI, with the cooperation of the US Department of Transportation, Caltrans, the American Public Transportation Association, and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.