The Fresno State Transportation Challenge 2019

The goal of the “Fresno State Transportation Challenge” was outreach to schools and community engagement, to provide K-8 students opportunities to learn about transportation and transportation-related careers, and to practice 21st century skills by solving a transportation related issue in their community. Through the pedagogical frameworks of action civics and eduScrum teachers and students worked on solving issues in their community. They learned design thinking to identify issues and develop solutions, while using eduScrum to self-manage their work. The schools were visited regularly by university students from transportation engineering to support the K-8 students in their work on a transportation-related project. The study tested two different formats: summer school and during the regular academic school year. The research question was: What is the impact of the “Fresno State Transportation Challenge” on K-8 students, K-8 teachers, university students and community members? The research methods involved observations, open interviews and a survey at the end. Key findings were that the Transportation Challenge is suited to teach elementary and middle school students about transportation, about transportation-related careers, and get them to apply this knowledge in addressing a transportation related issue in their community. The involvement of university students had a positive influence on the young students’ learning in regard to motivation, role modeling, and broadening the perspective on transportation related careers. The pedagogical approaches of action civics and eduScrum facilitated the development of career skills, such as collaboration, communication, creativity, teamwork, critical thinking, and persistence to overcome challenges. Implications for practice are that leveraging university resources, such as the Fresno State Transportation Institute, can be an effective way to engage K-8 students and teachers in transportation-related authentic learning experience, increase their awareness of transportation-related careers and topics, and develop their career skills.

Principal Investigator: 

Christian Wandeler

PI Contact Information: 

cwandeler@mail.fresnostate.edu
California State University, Fresno

Project Number: 

2009