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Students explore transportation careers at State Tech

According to Sydney Dickson, a senior at Carl Junction High School, one of her most enjoyable experiences at the National Summer Transportation Institute was the Flugtag activity.  “It was a lot of fun,” laughed Dickson. 

When asked what was involved in the Flugtag activity, Dickson launched into a detailed description of the building of a flying machine that you launch over water.   “It was like a plane and boat all in one,” said Dickson.  “Ours worked,” she said trying to hold back her laughter.  “Well it mostly worked.”




Sydney Dickson and her team construct a Flugtag during the National Summer Transportation Institute.  Pictured Left to Right: Sierra Ollis, Dominique Hamilton-Dopwell, Dickson, and Matthew Young.



Dickson, along with 23 other high school students from across the state of Missouri including two students from the state of New York, attended the National Summer Transportation Institute (NSTI) at State Technical College of Missouri (STC) for two weeks in July to learn about careers in the transportation industry.

Dickson, who is considering a career as a civil engineer, was prompted by her high school counselor to attend the two week institute at STC.   “I’m not entirely sure this is what I really want to do,” said Dickson.  “My counselor recommended the camp as a way for me learn more about the transportation industry and how a civil engineering degree could be used in this industry.”

Dickson’s time at the institute, funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration and the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT), provided her and her peers an opportunity to be exposed to many career opportunities that exist in the transportation field.

Dickson admits the program opened her eyes to a lot of opportunities.  “I got to drive a bull dozer and a bunch of other equipment that I don’t even remember the names of now,” commented Dickson.  “All I know is that it was fun.”

“The STC Heavy Equipment Operations activities were definitely a class favorite,” said Stephanie Scheulen, NSTI Project Coordinator.  “The students operated several pieces of equipment, as well as the simulators.”

“I got to balance a brick on a construction cone with an excavator,” said Dickson.  “It was the coolest thing.”

The institute included two weeks filled with activities for the participants to take part in technology programs at STC related to the transportation industry such as aviation maintenance, automotive technology, construction and civil technology, design drafting, heavy equipment operations and machine tool technology.

Students were also exposed to transportation activities at MODOT and Fort Leonard Wood, including tours of various museums such as the Museum of Transportation in St. Louis; the Westward Expansion Museum at the Gateway Arch; the Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum; and the National Great Rivers Museum in Illinois.

“I believe the institute was a success,” commented Scheulen.  “The students really enjoyed their two weeks at State Tech.”

According to Dickson, she definitely has a better understanding of the transportation field.  “My counselor was right,” she said.  “These two weeks have really helped me understand the industry better and what role I might play in it as a civil engineer.”

Although Dickson laughs about the experience of building the flugtag, she enjoyed the experience primarily because it was a hands-on experience and she was able to build something.   “I really enjoyed that aspect of that activity,” said Dickson.  “After my two weeks, I’m thinking I might really enjoy a career as a civil engineer.”

With more than 35 programs, State Technical College of Missouri is Missouri’s only public two-year technical college with a statewide mission.   STC has campuses in Linn, Mexico and Jefferson City.  STC prepares students for profitable employment and a life of learning.   

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