The experts who prevent the next Carmageddon, or the geniuses who plan the first manned trip to Mars, may come from the student population at the California Academy of Mathematics and Science. And that manned trip to the Red Planet could very well include women.
The high school on the campus of Cal State Dominguez Hills just earned a $100,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Federal Highway Administration to help prepare students, particularly women and minorities, for high-tech careers in transportation.
CAMS will use the grant to integrate transportation, engineering, science and technology knowledge and skills into the curriculum at all four grade levels, introducing students to transportation careers and teaching them to solve complex, transportation-related problems.
Grant activities will include a one-week summer institute for teachers, teacher job-shadowing of transportation professionals, and coordinated units on transportation at each grade level. These efforts will culminate in capstone, or final, interdisciplinary projects that will integrate transportation issues into broader contexts.
Tenth graders, for instance will plan a Mars society. They will design a rocket to transport humans and cargo to Mars, plan structures and systems to provide for the inhabitants’ biological needs, create both a physical and computer-generated model of their structure and system, design and build models of mining equipment and Mars rovers, use math to model population growth and predict resource requirements, determine their method of government and economy, and imagine how communication will differ in Mars’ harsh and isolated environment.
Ninth graders will have a more down-to-earth task: improving your morning commute. They will examine the restoration and improvement of urban infrastructure through research, planning and ultimately the development of test product materials, which includes testing for strength, aesthetics, safety and durability, incorporating elements of civil engineering, and researching improvements in state and local transportation systems.
Learn more about CAMS here.