Teaching in the Fast Lane Workshop for Elementary Teachers

With up to 25 participating teachers each year, this program has helped to introduce teachers to engineering concepts and engineering professions with the goal of equipping them to enrich their classrooms and raise awareness and enthusiasm among young students about engineering.

The workshop makes use of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Roadways in Developing Elementary Students (RIDES) kit, which is aligned with national math and science standards and the core curriculum standards and takes students on multiple adventures learning about transportation in relation to both math and science concepts. After the workshop, teachers were provided with a mini kit that provided them with these materials, enabling them to implement transportation and engineering lessons easily into their classrooms. It included items such as a set of engineering process flash cards, Hot Wheels cars, spring scales, stopwatches, and other fun and educational items.

Fast Lane is currently in its seventh year, thanks to the continued support of the Iowa Department of Transportation.

Iowa DOT engineers with Fast Lane teachers in 2019
Iowa DOT engineers with Fast Lane teachers in 2019
Program Description

Iowa State University (ISU) is offering elementary school teachers the opportunity to participate in a one-week professional development workshop to become more acquainted with transportation and civil engineering. Iowa State University is hosting the workshop, which will be presented by leading faculty, graduate students, Department of Transportation engineers, and science/math specialists Lynne Bleeker and Debbie Haywood. The focus of the course is deepening teachers’ content knowledge, skills, and confidence to enable them to teach the Engineering concepts of the Next Generation Science Standards. A small kit of hands-on materials will be provided to enable teachers to teach engineering, math, and science concepts appropriate for the elementary classroom.

Program Highlights
  • Program includes $700 stipend
  • Mileage will be reimbursed for those who commute
  • There will be a limited amount of availability for selected applicants who need housing
  • Participants have the option to apply for 1 continuing education credit through Heartland or 1 credit through Drake University at their expense, and the program facilitator can assist in that process
Application Form
  • Please list all degrees received (major, institution, and date).
  • Please list current school, grades, and subjects you're teaching.
  • Please list previous schools where you have taught, along with grade levels and subjects you have taught.
  • Please write a short statement of purpose. This statement should provide reviewers with a portrait of who you are as a teacher, a brief teaching philosophy, and why you wish to participate in this program. What is your approach to fostering interest and ability in science among young people? What are your goals as a teacher and as a professional? How (specifically) will this help you reach your goals?
  • Please provide the name, title, and contact information of at least two references.