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Photo by Li Zhang via Unsplash

Author

Sustainability Ambassadors

Grades

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

Subjects

Science, English Language Arts, Engineering

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
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Reading: Informational Text (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.8.1 Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.11-12.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings; analyze how an author uses and refines the meaning of a key term or terms over the course of a text (e.g., how Madison defines faction in Federalist No. 10).
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.11-12.10 By the end of grade 11, read and comprehend literary nonfiction in the grades 11-CCR text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range. By the end of grade 12, read and comprehend literary nonfiction at the high end of the grades 11-CCR text complexity band independently and proficiently.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • 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.
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