The goal of the “Fresno State Transportation Challenge” was outreach to schools and community engagement, to provide K-8 students opportunities to learn about transportation and transportation-related careers, and to practice 21st century skills by solving a transportation-related issue in their community. Through the pedagogical frameworks of action civics and eduScrum (a method to facilitate self-managed teamwork with a visual board), teachers and students worked on solving issues in their community. They learned design thinking to identify issues and develop solutions while using eduScrum to manage their work. University students from transportation engineering visited the schools regularly to support the K-8 students in their work on a transportation-related project. The study tested two different formats: summer school and during the regular academic school year. The research question was: What is the impact of the “Fresno State Transportation Challenge” on K-8 students, K-8 teachers, university students, and community members? The research methods involved observations, open interviews, and a final survey of participants. Key findings reveal the Transportation Challenge is suited to teach elementary and middle school students about transportation and transportation-related careers, and to encourage them to apply this knowledge in addressing a transportation-related issue in their community. The involvement of university students had a positive influence on the younger students’ learning in regard to motivation, role modeling, and broadening the perspective of transportation-related careers. The pedagogical approaches of action civics and eduScrum facilitated the development of career skills, such as collaboration, communication, creativity, teamwork, critical thinking, and persistence to overcome challenges. Implications for practice include that leveraging university resources, such as the Fresno State Transportation Institute, can be an effective way to engage K-8 students and teachers in transportation-related authentic learning experience, increase their awareness of transportation-related careers and topics, and develop their career skills.

Publication Date


Publication Type



Workforce and Labor

Digital Object Identifier


MTI Project



Education, Transportation careers, STEM, Workforce development


Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Elementary Education | Transportation Engineering