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The goal of this project was to attract K-12 students to transportation engineering careers through STEM outreach programs. To accomplish this goal, the object of the project was to design and implement maritime freight oriented educational outreach activities centered on traffic sensing technologies for middle, high school, and first-year college students. In MarTREC Project 5011 (Evaluating the Performance of Intermodal Connectors), the research team designed a low-cost, easily implementable LiDAR and Bluetooth sensor bundle that was capable of detecting, characterizing, and tracking freight trucks as they traveled to and from inland waterway port areas. The sensor provided data necessary to measure port performance and roadway usage by industry. This project re-designed the sensor bundle as an educational outreach activity by creating sensor "build kits" and associated lesson plans for middle school, high school, and first year university students. The concept of the build kits as a tool was highly praised when presented by the PI to professionals at the Missouri Valley Institute of Transportation Engineers (MOVITE) fall meeting in 2017.

Publication Date



5th-12th grades and first-year college

Document Type

Lesson Plan

Outreach Activity

MarTREC Traffic Sensor Kits


Inductive loops, loop detectors, Automatic vehicle detection and identification systems, Truck traffic, Education and training methods, Interdisciplinary studies


Civil Engineering | Hardware Systems | Other Electrical and Computer Engineering | Transportation Engineering | Urban Studies and Planning

Interdisciplinary Education Outreach with Traffic Sensor Build Kits