Media Contact: Todd McLeish 401-874-7892
At URIs transportation camps,
children get carried away
KINGSTON, R.I. -- July 23, 2003 -- Children who attend the University of Rhode Islands transportation camps often get carried away with the experience. They get carried away on ferries, buses, trains, helicopters, canoes and more.
"Our camps are designed to get kids excited about the importance of transportation in society and illustrate the many career paths in transportation," explained William Croasdale, URI professor of education and the director of the summer camps for children in grades 3 through 8. "Its hard for children to imagine all the inner workings of the transportation industry, especially when you include the logistics of transporting products to market."
Offered under the auspices of the URI Transportation Center, a federally funded center of research, outreach and education on the transportation industry, the camps provide hands-on lessons in bridge building, model-train construction, and rocketry, as well as trips on the Essex steam train, a river boat, a Rhode Island Public Transit Authority bus, a high-speed ferry, and canoes. They also tour Mystic Seaport, the nuclear submarine Nautilus, and the R.I. Department of Transportations central servicing facility in Providence.
"We stress a combination of old transportation methods and new," Croasdale said. "We also emphasize that one in ten jobs in the U.S. is connected to transportation, and thats a real revelation to the kids. And to adults, too."
The camps are primarily geared toward children from urban areas and those from minority groups under-represented in the transportation industry. Participants this year include 40 children in grades 4 through 8 from the Pawtucket Boys and Girls Club, 60 from Times Squared Academy in Providence, and 22 from the Narragansett Indian Tribe in South Kingstown and Charlestown. The camps run from early July through mid-August.