Bentley Systems and AASHTO host student TRAC Bridge virtual event
Bentley Systems the infrastructure engineering software company, and the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO), a non-profit and nonpartisan association representing highway and transportation departments in the United States, will present the annual Transportation and Civil Engineering (TRAC) contest for middle and high school students in a virtual setting on April 28.
Originally scheduled for AASHTO’s spring meeting, organizers re-invented the competition as the “AASHTO Virtual TRAC Showcase” as a result of COVID-19 pandemic’s social-distancing restrictions.
Co-sponsored by Bentley, the AASHTO National Bridge and Structure TRAC Challenge includes students from seventh to 12th grades who have designed innovative projects using Bentley applications.
Also sponsoring the event are TopoDOT, HDR, and HNTB. This year, 33 teams submitted projects, and the finalist teams will present in the online forum.
This platform provides an opportunity to recognize students for their hard work, allowing them to virtually present their projects and demonstrate how they designed the bridges, as well as how they built models of their designs with balsawood.
Francois Valois, Bentley’s vice president for civil engineering, said, “The role of civil engineers is critical to transportation infrastructure. The hands-on experience of the TRAC program introduces students to civil engineering concepts and processes, inspiring them to imagine a future career in engineering. I’m proud that AASHTO, Bentley, the other sponsors, and the DOTs came together to provide this opportunity for the students to present their projects virtually and get the recognition that they deserve.”
Julia Smith, AASHTO TRAC program manager, said AASHTO designed the program for use in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) classes to introduce students to transportation and civil engineering. “America’s transportation industry has a huge demand for well-qualified civil engineers.
TRAC’s goal is to get middle and high school students exposed to and excited about a career in civil engineering. We see TRAC as an investment in today’s youth, to ensure that America has the highly skilled workforce it’s going to need for years to come.”
To learn more and to register, visit National TRAC Bridge Challenge – Transportation.org.