On April 1, 2008, the Mineta Transportation Institute at San José State University hosted a videoconference that brought together experts in surface transportation and students from middle and high schools across the nation to discuss the importance of sustainable transportation. The goal was to introduce students to future career opportunities in transportation and to inspire them to take the high school and college courses that will prepare them for professional careers. Students from California, Maryland and Virginia participated in the 2008 symposium, during which they heard opening remarks from Vice Admiral Thomas J. Barrett, Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation. Five teams of students presented their ideas on sustainable transportation alternatives for the future. These included a magnetic hover bus that can traverse both land and water, a plug-in electric-biodiesel-solar hybrid car, applications of the Stirling engine, a solar-hydropower bus, and an electric car with back-up power from solar panels and an internal windmill. The formal presentations were followed by a moderated question-and-answer session in which student teams questioned each other about their projects and sought the advice of experts about preparation for transportation careers and the critical issues they will face in the future. This publication is an edited summary of the April 2008 event, named in honor of Garrett A. Morgan, a black American inventor honored by Congress for his contributions to transportation and public safety.
Keywords: Air quality, alternative fuels, biodiesel fuels, electric vehicles, greenhouse gases, magnetic hover bus, plug-in electric biodiesel hybrid car, solar hydropower bus, solar windmill electric car, Stirling engine, sustainable transportation, transportation careers, transportation safety and security, Garrett Augustus Morgan