The Fresno State Transportation Challenge uses an action civics approach to support K-12 students in developing transportation-related projects that have a positive impact on the community. In 2020 the goal was to expand, refine, and create structures to sustain the implementation of the Transportation Challenge across subsequent years. As a result of the COVID pandemic, the process and goals of the project were adapted. The project was extended into April 2021 and was entirely conducted through remote participation. The focus was on two high schools. The expansion into the high school age bracket was successful and the experience with these two projects will allow for easier expansion in additional high schools in the future. One high school focused on the topic of active mobility, specifically biking, and addressed the challenge of how to get more students to bike to school. The other high school combined the transportation challenge with an economic vitalization project. The students were asked to also develop a modern transportation concept. Both projects exposed high school students to the topic of transportation and expanded awareness of transportation careers. Students also developed important competencies in the domains of problem solving, collaboration, communication, and leadership.
Dr. Christian Wandeler is an associate professor in research methods and statistics at California State University, Fresno. He has a PhD in personality and positive psychology from the University of Zurich, Switzerland. His research interests are the development of hope and learning achievement, project-based learning, and self-managing teams. He is currently researching the use of agile learning methods and design thinking in action civics projects. He is also a certified trainer of teachers in the eduScrum method.
Dr. Steven Hart is a full-time professor. He served as the principal investigator for a subgrantee award from the Learn and Serve “Civic Minor in Urban/Metropolitan Education” grant and co-principal investigator for the California State University Chancellor’s Office “Preparing a New Generation of Educators for California” grant. Dr. Hart is an expert in service-learning and served as the service-learning fellow at Fresno State. He engaged in participatory research with youth, exploring literacy practices in service-learning contexts developing afterschool programs with community centers, and implementing service-learning pedagogy with classroom teachers. Dr. Hart also led the management of a substantial grant from the California Public Charter Schools Grant Program as a board member of Kepler Neighborhood Charter School.