SACRAMENTO — California middle schools swept the podium in the national Garrett Morgan Sustainable Transportation Competition. In this Caltrans News Flash, we feature innovations like a drone that transports commuters to an app that makes it easy for parents to take carpooling to the next level.
The goal is to get middle schoolers from around the country excited about careers in transportation early in life. This year seven schools from California to Maryland got hands-on experience creating solutions to real transportation problems.
The Garrett Morgan Sustainable Transportation Competition was created by former Secretary of Transportation Rodney Slater. The Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) has sponsored it every year since 2001. The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) mentors the participating California middle school classes, guiding them through Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) aspects of their projects.
This competition is named in honor of Garrett Morgan, who was an African American inventor responsible for many early 20th century innovations including one of the first traffic signals.
The first-place winner of this year’s Garrett Morgan Sustainable Transportation Competition is California Montessori Project-Capitol Campus (Sacramento, California) with their project "Eagle Ride: A School-Scale Mobility App!" This team was honored at the Mineta Transportation Institute Banquet and Convocation Celebration in San Jose, and they took home a $1,000 cash prize and a plaque for the classroom.
In second place, MacArthur Fundamental Intermediate School (Santa Ana, California) with their project "Pooh Mobile!" They garnered a $300 cash prize and a plaque for their classroom.
In third place, Sutter Middle School (Sacramento, California) with their project "DART-916!" They were awarded $200 cash prize and a plaque for their classroom.