North Carolina Girls Learn All About Rail

DSC_0743 A group of 12 middle school and high school girls had the opportunity to meet Sandra Stepney, North Carolina Department of Transportation’s (NCDOT) Rail Division’s Planning and Development Branch Manager at WTS International’s NC Triangle Chapter’s third Transportation YOU event at the Institute for Transportation Research and Education at North Carolina State University’s Centennial Campus in Raleigh, NC. Ms. Stepney oversees the Rail Planning, Rail Project Development, and the Rail Strategic Initiative Coordination Units.

During the first part of the night, Ms. Stepney spoke about her career in the transportation industry and answered some excellent questions the students had about engineering and details about her journey to becoming NCDOT’s Rail Division’s Planning and Development Branch Manager. The girls were extremely inquisitive and Ms. Stepney truly inspired them to consider a career in rail.DSC_0776

For the second part of the night, the girls had the opportunity to get hands-on experience by making a futuristic air train using an assortment of materials. The objective was to move the train, with passengers, across the rail track as quickly as possible. Some factors they had to consider were the safety of their passengers, the weight of the train, and the friction that would be caused on the track. Each group took turns presenting and demonstrating their air train while explaining which aspects were most important to them when designing their creation. It was an evening of learning and fun that gave all the participants the confidence to pursue a career in transportation.

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