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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

URI Transportation Center to celebrate National Transportation Week with robotics challenge, construction career day, 5th annual breakfast

Media Contact: Todd McLeish, 401-874-7892

KINGSTON, R.I. -- May 9, 2005 -- The University of Rhode Island Transportation Center will engage middle school and high school students, as well as transportation industry professionals, in a variety of activities to celebrate National Transportation Week from May 15-21.

The celebration of National Transportation Week is designed to generate a greater awareness of the importance of transportation in everyday life and to encourage youths to consider transportation-related careers.

On May 17, ten teams of middle school students from throughout Rhode Island will compete in a robotics challenge in URI’s Memorial Union from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Student-built robots will be faced with a variety of “missions,” including removing a disabled vehicle from a road, plowing the snow at an airstrip, and unloading cargo from a ship. In addition, each student team will present an educational poster about their research into a transportation issue affecting the state.

Awards will be presented to the top three robotics teams and the three best posters. The event is a joint effort of the URI Transportation Center, the URI College of Engineering, the R.I. Technology Education Association, and the federal and state departments of transportation.

On May 18 and 19 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., the Rhode Island Construction Career Day will be held at the R.I. Department of Transportation’s Mid-State Maintenance Facility in Coventry.

More than 1,200 high school students will learn about construction careers from representatives of the Federal Highway Administration, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation, local public works departments, construction companies, equipment dealers, apprentice programs and other organizations. Students will get hands-on opportunities to operate heavy machinery and other construction equipment, as well as visit displays from various educational programs.

The week will conclude with a Transportation Week Breakfast for transportation industry professionals on May 19 at 8 a.m. at the Sheraton Providence Airport Hotel. The keynote speaker will be J. Richard Capka, deputy administrator of the Federal Highway Administration, who will discuss “Beyond SAFETEA (the Safe, Accountable, Flexible and Efficient Transportation Equity Act).”
For more information about any of these events, or to register for the breakfast, call the URI Transportation Center at 401-874-7075. Cost for the breakfast is $25.