At the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), we recognize the importance of engaging students in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) concepts and promoting professions in the transportation industry.
We used a real-world example, the Pensacola Bay Bridge (PBB) replacement, as an opportunity to interact with students of all ages and garner interest by creating the Pensacola Bay Bridge “Goes to School” Program. This three-tiered program was incorporated into the Escambia and Santa Rosa County school districts’ existing curricula.
Students used their critical thinking skills and explored their creativity as they participated in activities where they learned about topics such as the effects of forces on the bridge, the importance of foundations for bridges, and the factors that go into bridge design and construction. Not only did students get to explore various aspects that go into bridge construction, they also got to be involved in the process of choosing some of the new bridge’s aesthetic features.
This program was a great experience for teachers and students who participated, and we are thankful for the opportunity to show more students the importance of the transportation industry.