Mississippi Department of Transportation and school districts statewide - Roadways Into Developing Elementary Students (RIDES) program to enhance STEM education in grades K-8

Students impacted: Over 50,000
Volunteers: 150
Duration of partnership: 11 years

MDOT has partnered with public schools throughout Mississippi to enhance STEM education efforts by providing training and resources for K-8 teachers. Introduced in 2004, Roadways Into Developing Elementary Students, or RIDES, is designed to improve science, technology, engineering and math skills, and prepare students for the workforce of the future. Students use critical thinking skills to solve real-world problems and learn about careers in the transportation industry, specifically civil engineering.

The RIDES program also has been recognized at a national level for its support of STEM education in the classroom. In 2011, the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials distributed the RIDES program throughout the United States as a model transportation education outreach program. Through this partnership, RIDES is currently used in Louisiana, New York, North Dakota, Nebraska, California, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Oregon, and Alaska.

Activities:

• Pre-service teacher training
• RIDES Conference
• Career fairs
• Literacy activities

Impacts:

• 2,015 teachers trained since 2004
• 40,000 students impacted annually
• 42 pre-service teachers trained in 2015; will impact 800+ students annually
• Refresher training for 250 teachers; will impact 5,000+ students annually
• Introduced 10,000 students to STEM careers at career fairs throughout Mississippi