Current & Former NUTC Students Inspire Next Generation

On Saturday, March 7, 2015, current NUTC Ph.D. candidate Charlotte Frei and alumna Kelsey Watterworth (MCC '12), a transportation engineer at Jacobs Engineering, joined the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana for STEMapalooza, an all-day hands-on activities fair designed to get girls in grades K-12 interested in STEM courses and careers. More than 350 Girl Scouts and 100 parents and troop leaders attended, offering an opportunity to interact directly with students as well as provide tips to educators and parents on how to encourage young girls to study STEM fields.

Frei and Watterworth assisted the group by designing a road and transit planning activity. Scouts began by designing a street network for a town that lacked roads. The scouts could progress through levels to become a “Senior Transportation Engineer” by answering questions about travel times on their road network and designing a transit network for their town. The girls came up with dozens of different designs with little prompting from the volunteers, incorporating grid networks, ring roads, and even traffic signals.