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Transportation and Civil Engineering Program (TRAC)

Young students weigh their bridge structure as they participate in MDOT's TRAC Design-Build Challenge.
Department of Transportation

Transportation and Civil Engineering Program (TRAC)

Since 2004, MDOT has been offering the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO) TRAC (Transportation and Civil Engineering) Program to schools in Michigan. TRAC is a hands-on education program designed for integration into science, math and social science classes.

The TRAC program engages high school and middle school students in solving real-world problems, such as designing bridges, building magnetic-levitation trains, or analyzing the environmental and economic effects of building a highway.

This program is free to schools. MDOT will provide training to teachers and engineer volunteers. These volunteers will speak about their careers in transportation and work with the students using the modules in the classrooms. Each teacher can decide which module will fit into their curriculum.

By bringing transportation professionals to the classroom, TRAC connects students to the work world and inspires them to consider careers in transportation and civil engineering.


Lisa Whaley
TRAC Program Coordinator
425 W. Ottawa
Lansing, MI 48909

TRAC Brochure

2023 Michigan Design & Build Bridge Challenge

Balsa wood bridge for the Michigan Bridge Builder competition.

Save the Date - April 27, 2023
Lansing Center

It is important that you thoroughly read all sections of the guidelines before applying. Each team must complete an application.

7th & 8th Grade
9th & 10th Grade
11th & 12th Grade

Trainings are currently postponed until further notice.

Questions about TRAC, contact:

Lisa Whaley

12th Grade High School Students Internship 

The TRAC Internship is an extension of the TRAC Program and is designed to provide opportunities for 12th grade students. During the summer, these students work with MDOT civil engineers and learn more about the rewards and challenges of a career in civil engineering.

Bentley PowerDraft v8i Videos

AASHTO Video: U.S. Critically Short of Civil Engineers 

TRAC Michigan Education Standards

TRAC Volunteers

Volunteers are department of transportation professionals, civil engineers, or from the private sector with an interest in transportation, engineering, and the TRAC Program. TRAC volunteers are typically self-confident, motivated, and articulate individuals excited about their field, with energy and enthusiasm that projects that excitement to others.

TRAC volunteers face a challenging, yet highly rewarding assignment in becoming a role model to students and a trusted advisor to the teachers who are in the classroom. Volunteers work with each teacher as an advisor, demonstrating how the TRAC activities work. They also guide them on how to apply these activities to what the students are learning in that teacher’s class. As role models in the transportation and civil engineering fields, the volunteers answer students’ questions to help them understand concepts learned in the classroom and how those concepts are applied in the real world. Most importantly, the volunteers have an opportunity to introduce and inspire students to explore and possibly pursue a career in transportation and civil engineering. 

If you are interested in volunteering, contact or Lisa Whaley.