Garrett Morgan Sustainable Transportation Competition

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Garrett Morgan Sustainable Transportation Competition

The Garrett Morgan Sustainable Transportation Competition was instituted by former Secretary of Transportation Rodney Slater to encourage young people to consider careers in transportation. The Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) has sponsored a competition every year since 2001.

If you are a middle-school teacher, you and your students can compete to win up to $1000 for your classroom, plus an all-expenses-paid trip to San Jose, California, to be honored at the MTI Awards Banquet. Sponsored by the US Department of Transportation, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), and other industry partners, this program engages students in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) through a competition focused on sustainable transportation.


Here’s how it works

Garrett Morgan Competition Flow Chart

  • MTI facilitates a partnership between the middle school participants and a transportation industry rep.
  • MTI provides digital teacher guide at no cost for easy classroom lesson integration!
  • Each participating teacher helps thier team create a sustainable transportation project to present to the USDOT and other transportation leaders.
  • Teams receive $100 to help with project expenses.
  • The project can be a demonstration, model, PowerPoint, or other presentation suitable for a 7-10 minute video submission.
  • Each participating team submits a 7-10 minute recording of their presentation.
  • Judges, from different transportation agencies, universities, and/or MTI affiliates will score the presentations. 
  • The winners will be announced via a virtual meeting about 2-3 weeks after the submission deadline.
  • First-place team receives a $1,000 cash prize, a plaque, and an all-expenses-paid trip for three to San José, CA for the MTI awards banquet, annually in June (pending state and county recommendations as they pertain to COVID-19).
  • Second-place team receives $300 and a plaque.
  • Third-place team receives $200 and a plaque.
  • All students who compete will receive a signed certificate from MTI and Congressman Norman Y. Mineta.

Ready to Participate?

Contact MTI Communications and Operations Manager irma.garcia@sjsu.edu for more information on how to participate and to be connected with a transportation professional!

Important Dates

January 28th, 2022

Garrett Morgan Registration (please note that if you are interested in or waiting for MTI pair your team with a transportation professional you may leave the second part of the form blank).

March 4th, 2022

Ready to compete? Garrett Morgan Project Entry Form and Photo Release Form are due on this date.

April 8th, 2022

Final videos due to irma.garcia@sjsu.edu by end of day. ​Approved video formats: MOV, MP4, Youtube, Google Drive.

 

Teacher Resources

 
         

2021 Video Compilation

 

2020 Video Compilation

 

2019 Video Compilation

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
2019 Competition on Caltrans News Flash
 
2018 Competition
 
 
 
 
 

Who was Garrett Morgan?

Garrett Morgan's portraitGarrett Augustus Morgan, an African-American inventor, was born in Kentucky in 1877 to former slaves Sydney Morgan and Elizabeth Reed Morgan. The seventh of ten children, he spent long days working on the family farm. He also attended school but had to quit at age 14 to earn a living. That did not discourage him – he moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, found work as a handyman, hired a tutor and continued learning. Mr. Morgan eventually moved to Cleveland and became prosperous as a sewing machine repairman with his own clothing manufacturing business that employed more than 30 people. Later, he established the Cleveland Call, a successful newspaper. 

The Gas Mask-- Saving Lives Since 1914

Garrett Morgan's gas maskHe had an excellent imagination and invented things we still use today, including a zig-zag stitching attachment for sewing machines. He also invented an early version of the gas mask. When an explosion occurred in a tunnel under Lake Erie, Mr. Morgan volunteered to rescue the trapped workers using his new invention to protect against the deadly fumes. It became an instant success, and he was given the Medal of Bravery by the citizens of Cleveland. He was nominated for the Carnegie Medal but was rejected, partly because he was black. Many fire departments wanted his gas mask, too, but they canceled their orders when they learned that a black man had invented it. So Garrett Morgan hired a white man to pretend he was the inventor, and the gas masks began to sell quickly.

Inventions That Stopped Traffic

Garrett Morgan's traffic lightAs an early owner of an automobile, Mr. Morgan thought that roads could be safer if they had a better signaling device at intersections. At that time, the roadway was used for every mode of transportation – autos, wagons, streetcars, horses, bikes and pedestrians. The existing signals said only "stop" and "go," which meant that pedestrians were left to compete with all the other traffic. So Garrett Morgan invented a hand-cranked signal that would control traffic at an intersection, and then it would stop all traffic to allow pedestrians to cross. Just before his death in 1963, the U.S. government gave him an award for his invention. 

 


Past Garrett Morgan Winners

Year 

   School

Location                        

2021    From the Heart Christian School Suiteland, Maryland
2020    Montessori California Project- Capitol Campus Sacramento, California
2019    Montessori California Project- Capitol Campus Sacramento, California
2018    Toddy Thomas Fortuna, California
2017    Urban Promise Academy Oakland, California
2016    Morada Middle School  Stockton, California
2015    Guntown Middle School Guntown, Mississippi
2014    Juan Crespi Middle School El Sobrante, California
2013    Juan Crespi Middle School El Sobrante, California
2012    Morada Middle School Stockton, California
2011    Monument Middle School  Rio Dell, California
2010    Kemps Landing Magnet School Virginia Beach, Virginia
2009    School Of International Studies At Meadowbrook Norfolk, Virginia
2008    Edna Brewer Middle School  Oakland, California
2007    Edna Brewer Middle School  Oakland, California
2006    Wells Middle School  Dublin, California
2005    Kemps Landing Magnet School Virginia Beach, Virginia
2004    Argyle Middle School  Silver Spring, Maryland
2003    Jones Middle School  Hampton Roads, Virginia

 

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Contact Us

SJSU Research Foundation   210 N. 4th Street, 4th Floor, San Jose, CA 95112    Phone: 408-924-7560   Email: mineta-institute@sjsu.edu