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Author

Sustainability Ambassadors

Grades

6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th

Subjects

Science, Engineering, Career Skills

Resource Type

  • Articles and Websites

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - West, Africa, Washington

Format

PDF

Transportation Engineer

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Synopsis
  • This four-page article describes the job of a transportation engineer and showcases an individual working in this field in Seattle.
  • Students read about the tasks, working environment, required education and skills, the personal experience of someone in the field, the pros and cons of the job, and what the future looks like for this career path.
Teaching Tips

Positives

  • The personal perspective of Tinotenda Jonga, who grew up in South Africa before immigrating to the United States, is an engaging account that will inspire students.
  • The resource highlights the real-world importance of problem-solving and systems-thinking skills.

Additional Prerequisites

  • There are some acronyms used that students will likely be unfamiliar with, such as CAD (Computer-Aided Design) and ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology).
  • Students should know the difference between soft skills and technical skills.
  • It may help students to know some background about South Africa.

Differentiation

  • To get an idea of what this work might be like, students can identify a transportation issue in their community, research possible solutions, and draft a proposal to solve this issue.
  • English language arts classes can use this resource to practice reading informational text and analyzing the author's rhetoric, purpose, and point of view.
  • Engineering classes can use this resource to learn about career paths in this field and the real-world applications for engineering skills.
  • Students can discuss the link between transportation and climate change and brainstorm ways a transportation engineer may implement mitigation and adaptation strategies. 
Scientist Notes
This green career resource describes the importance of transportation engineers and encourages young people to pursue this field of work. Additionally, it offers lessons gained and anecdotes to encourage students to succeed in this career route.
Standards

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • Science
    • ETS1: Engineering Design
      • HS-ETS1-3. Evaluate a solution to a complex real-world problem based on prioritized criteria and trade-offs that account for a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics, as well as possible social, cultural, and environmental impacts.
  • Career Readiness, Life Literacies, & Key Skills
    • Career Awareness, Exploration, Preparation, and Training
      • 9.2.12.CAP.3: Investigate how continuing education contributes to one's career and personal growth.
      • 9.2.12.CAP.4: Evaluate different careers and develop various plans (e.g., costs of public, private, training schools) and timetables for achieving them, including educational/training requirements, costs, loans, and debt repayment.
  • English Language Arts
    • Reading: Informational Text (K-12)
      • RI.CR.8.1 Cite a range of textual evidence and make clear and relevant connections (including informational text features such as charts, graphs, and diagrams) that strongly support an analysis of multiple aspects of what an informational text says explicitly, as well as inferences drawn from the text.
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