California Department of Transportation
 

Garrett Morgan Program

Overview

The Garrett Morgan Symposium, administered by the Mineta Transportation Institute, is part of the U.S. Department of Transportationís Garrett A. Morgan Technology and Transportation Futures Program. This program is named in honor of Garrett Morgan, who was an African American inventor of the orig`inal three-way stop signal, among many other innovations in the early part of the 20th Century. The program is designed to increase middle school studentsí awareness of transportation issues, interest them in careers in transportation, and motivate them to take the math and science classes in high school needed to prepare for management and engineering majors in college.

Each year, the Department of Transportation (Caltrans) sponsors middle school classes that prepare and present their sustainable transportation projects in this annual competition. Caltrans' District liaisons meet throughout the year with the Caltrans Headquarters project manager in the Division of Research and Innovation (DRI) to recruit, enroll, and assist schools as they prepare for the competition. Recruitment begins in May, just after the Symposium, and continues until October, when school registrations are due. The Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) sends out the workbooks to each enrolled class in November, and district engineers and other transportation professionals begin to assist the classes as they prepare their projects. Projects are entered in February, and the competition, attended by dignitaries including the Secretary of Transportation, is held in late March. The winning school is selected in April and the Awards Banquet is held in their honor in June..

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