STEM Outreach At VDOT

Inspiring The Next Generation Of VDOT Employees

VDOT offers schools two free curriculum programs through the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO).

TRAC (Transportation and Civil Engineering)

The Transportation and Civil Engineering (TRAC) Program is composed of hands-on educational modules designed for integration into science, math and social science classes in middle and high schools.


  • Environmental engineering: Erosion, sedimentation, air pollution, noise, water quality and habitat loss
  • Roadway design and construction: Math, social sciences and technology
  • Traffic engineering:  Basic linear motion, braking distance and friction, and programming logic for traffic systems 
  • Bridge design: Design, build, and test processes, CAD (computer-assisted design), materials selection
  • Motion and the transportation engineer: Momentum and energy conservation, automobile collision analysis and roadside crash barrier design
  • Highway safety: Data analysis, mathematical approach to designing safe curves, CAD (Computer-Assisted Design)

Upcoming TRAC Training: Oct. 17 - 18, 2019, in Salem, Virginia. Email Angela Parsley for registration details.

VDOT Bridge Building Competition

Tentative: April 18, 2020 - Hermitage High School (Henrico County)

  • Students design, build, and present their bridges.
  • Pre-registration is required.
  • Open to middle and high school- aged students in Virginia. Scouting groups, homeschool groups, and teams from private schools are encouraged to participate.
  • Rules and registration details:

Note: The AASHTO national bridge competition rules are different from the VDOT rules. All teams are encourages to try for the national competition which requires some additional requirements.

photo display

RIDES (Roadways into Developing Elementary Students)

This program is a collection of K‐8 lessons that align with National Standards for math and science. Teachers receive a large storage trunk with supplies needed to complete the activities.

Video: RIDES participants in Louisiana RIDES kit

Both programs are free to schools. Teachers just need to attend a training session.

You can also invite a VDOT volunteer to speak to your students.

For RIDES training or curriculum inquiries, contact Angela Parsley.

Additional Resources

Education and Training

Technology in Transportation

Contact Angela Parsley, STEM Coordinator to register or for more information: 804-328-3047 or


Page last modified: Oct. 18, 2019