Fresno high school students participate in transportation planning – Cycling West

By Charles Pekow — The new federal law on surface transportation makes it possible for the first time to improve classrooms and infrastructure in secondary schools as part of Safe Routes to School. But it doesn’t take federal help to engage high schoolers or write a curriculum to turn them into advocates for better cycling. The Fresno State Transportation Challenge proved it.

The Mineta Transportation Institute developed a high school civics program and had to implement it remotely due to the pandemic with students from two California high schools. A high school class focused on ways to get more students to cycle to school. The other focused on creating a more general local transportation plan.

In the first case, the students met weekly and designed a survey to ask their colleagues about cycling to school. Once the lesson was over, the students planned a bike-to-school day. At the second school, students researched the future of transportation and designed a transportation system that would work in an industry, including electric scooters and “ride-along bikes” for fast-food restaurants . The school planned to continue transport education during summer school.

In both cases, the students developed critical thinking skills and learned about transportation-related careers that they had not typically been exposed to, according to the project’s self-assessment. The courses involved guest lecturers.

You can find the project report here: https://transweb.sjsu.edu/sites/default/files/2009-Wandeler-Fresno-State-Transportation-Challenge.pdf.

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