CMIT Team Selected as Finalist in National Bridge Builder Competition in Tennessee; First Maryland Team and Only on East Coast to Represent 11/12th Grade Level

(March 23, 2018) – Encouraging education, opportunities and careers in STEM and engineering for Maryland students, Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) Deputy Administrator Jason Ridgway joined teachers, administrators and students at Chesapeake Math and IT Academy (CMIT) to officially launch Maryland’s new TRAnsportation and Civil Engineering (TRAC) Program. Chesapeake Math and IT Academy is one of Maryland’s inaugural schools to integrate American Association of State Highway and Transportation Official’s (AASHTO) TRAC program into its curriculum. Through TRAC, students apply math and science to solve real-world transportation and civil engineering challenges and work side-by-side with transportation professionals who mentor both teachers and students.

As part of the observation and to officially launch TRAC, CMIT students today demonstrated the TRAC learning modules for bridge building.  In a Maryland first, a CMIT student team has been selected as a national finalist to compete in the 2018 AASHTO TRAC Bridge Competition in Franklin, Tennessee in May.  In a fierce competition of more than 115 entries, the CMIT 11/12th team has been chosen as one of 18 finalists from across the country, and is the only school on the east coast representing this grade level.

“We are excited about the opportunity to establish this unique educational partnership with CMIT High School and delighted to learn that their team will be representing Maryland,” said MDOT SHA Administrator Slater. “TRAC is just one example of how we are Marylanders serving Marylanders and supporting the next generation of engineers right here in Prince George’s County.”

MDOT’s goal is to establish TRAC teams at all educational levels in partnership with committed transportation professionals who are willing to support students and schools involved in the program.  With national statistics showing that women and minorities are underrepresented in transportation and civil engineering, TRAC focusing on attracting underrepresented groups to the field. In addition to CMIT, Maryland TRAC also has programs at Patterson High School in Baltimore City, and is working on establishing partnerships with additional schools.

MDOT SHA fully supports these schools by providing curriculum-specific material and industry-specific technical expertise. To date, MDOT SHA hosted an informational workshop, in which area educators were invited to learn all about the TRAC program and gain hands-on experience.  In addition, MDOT SHA has purchased modules for the schools to use to offer as many useful materials as possible to aspiring STEM students.
CMIT Announcement

“Chesapeake Lighthouse Foundation (CLF) schools are committed to maximizing the potential of every student--from building bridges, drones, robots, or rockets--we offer project-based learning in an advanced STEM curriculum,” said Mark Sutherland, Community Partnerships Director. “We also know we couldn't achieve this level of success without community partnerships like MDOT working with us and together, our dedicated teachers & stellar students at both CMIT Academy Middle and High were delighted to be among the first Maryland TRAC schools. We are proud CMIT HS will represent our state in the national AASHTO competition!”

Moving forward, MDOT SHA will be available as a valuable resource to teachers and students both in and out of the classroom. MDOT SHA plans to expand recruitment efforts and bring the program to additional schools.  For more information about the TRAC program, please visit:
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