Lauren Hansen 757-925-1660


July 15, 2011

National Summer Transportation Institute Students Explore Their Possibilities

SUFFOLK – The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and Hampton University (HU) once again teamed up for the annual National Summer Transportation Institute (NSTI) in Hampton.  NSTI, a four-week summer program funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), is offered free to ambitious secondary school students with an interest in pursuing careers in the transportation industry.

While most students spend their summer vacations on the beach or mastering the Wii, NSTI students spent their summer building self-awareness, receiving on-campus experience, and participating in projects that promoted hands-on learning and team work. In order to be considered for this program, students must be rising ninth, 10th, 11th, or 12th graders. They must have a minimum grade point average of 2.5, have successfully completed at least one course of high school algebra, have a strong interest in math, science, or computers, and have a commitment to complete the four-week non-residential program.

“Many of the students have gone from thinking they know what the Department of Transportation does, to identifying specific areas of interest,” says Shontae Taylor, Assistant Director for the HU NSTI. “This experience is exposed them to opportunities they never knew existed and it is truly amazing,” Taylor adds. The students completed operational visits to the Metro in Washington, DC, VDOT’s Transportation Operations Center (TOC) in Virginia Beach, the Coleman Bridge, and the Jamestown-Scotland Ferry. Other activities included the construction of a balsa wood bridge - the lightest and sturdiest bridge earns top the prize - and an essay contest. The essay assignment consisted of students presenting a perceived problem in the transportation industry and a cohesive solution. The winning essay received a $150 prize. Second and third place entries earned $100 and $50 prizes, respectively.  

The closing ceremony for NSTI was held at noon on July 15, 2011, at Hampton University.

Editor’s Note: For media availability contact Tesha Hill, Public Affairs, at 757-925-1516 or email

Information in VDOT news releases was accurate at the time the release was published. For the most current information about projects or programs, please visit the project or program Web pages. You may find those by searching by keyword in the search Virginia DOT box above.

Page last modified: Oct. 17, 2012