The University of Maine in Orono hosted for the fourth time the Maine Summer Transportation Institute (MSTI) 2011 for 20 middle school students with a full scholarship from July 11 – July 22, 2011 in the Foster Student Innovation Center. The objectives remained pretty much the same as they were in our first year of MSTI except for some activities that were changed to further strengthen the program.
Out of the 30 applicants, 11 girls and 9 boys from 10 Maine middle schools from the Greater Bangor area were selected for the non-residential 2 weeks program. The MSTI activities exposed students to new frontiers and adventures such as highway design, bridge design, sustainable transportation, safety in road, railroad, air, and bike riding, alternative fuels, construction materials, transportation of people and cargo, transportation related laws, regulations, and safety, and career opportunities. Students participated in hands-on lab projects, safety training, computer aided design (CAD) practice, field trips to transportation museums and facilities, and engineering lab tours, and recreational activities at the Student Recreation Center.
Members of the Intermodal Advisory Committee from MaineDOT offices and other partners provided no cost exceptional hands-on activities and field trips. Some of the University of Maine Engineering faculty and local businesses such as Bangor Airport very enthusiastically volunteered their services to the Institute. Just like the past years special field trip highlight this year was the visit to the Maine Maritime Academy where they got to sail. Of the activities on campus Physics mysteries was a big hit with the participants this year.
The Institute participants received a wealth of information and gained an insight into various modes and aspects of the transportation industry, life skills, research competencies, and college preparatory requirements. The MSTI also addressed transportation workforce needs, specifically the need of students pursuing careers in engineering and technology. The participants and their parents were very satisfied and had wonderful compliments about the Institute.
Some of the comments from the students were:
“I found myself looking forward to every new day of the camp, and was quite pleased to find that my experience at MSTI has exceeded my expectations.”
“I have a superb time at this camp. This camp made me want to be an engineer. I wish I could come again. It was fun.”
“What I liked about the institute was that we visited all aspects of transportation. Also we learned more than a couple things about them. My favorite visit was the Maine Maritime Academy because we were hands on sailing the boat and the lecture informed me greatly about sailing careers. This camp was one thing I will always remember!”
Some of the comments from parents were:
“I hope this program can continue for many years to come. I feel it gives a good direction into their future and gives them a chance at hands on experiments and what to expect in the world of engineering.”
“My daughter particularly enjoyed the gentleman who was “physics” and also very much enjoyed the day at the Maine Maritime Museum.”
“We liked the friendly and caring staff. We felt that we were leaving him in good hands each day and that the staff had enthusiasm for the kids and for the topics taught.”
“I think middle school is a good time to influence career choices. Thanks so much for your efforts and the work of the other staffers involved.”
“I have no suggestions to better the program and think it was conducted very well. As a single parent with many obligations, I truly appreciate the help they provided with transporting her each day.”
|MSTI 2011 Participants List|
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Image Description: Designing an offshore windblade floater
MSTI application for summer 2013 is due on May 31, 2013