Welcome back to our STEM Series: Summer Teaching Institute Industry Tours. In this series we are highlighting the local industries that welcomed our Summer Institute participants this summer. Read more about the Summer Institute here. This installment focuses on the Rochester-Genesee Regional Transportation Authority (RGRTA).
Headquartered on East Main Street in Rochester and governed by twelve commissioners, RGRTA oversees public transportation in Monroe, Genesee, Livingston, Ontario, Orleans, Wayne, Wyoming and Seneca counties. RGRTA also serves as the host agency to a planning organization known as the Genesee Transportation Council. (source: RGRTA Website)
After speaking with two engineers who oversee the operations of RGRTA, it became clear that STEM principles are important at any age. They see a need for “tinkering” and “playing in the dirt”. There is a direct correlation between those activities and interest in STEM. They stressed the need for skilled trades (electricians, metal workers, welders, etc.) and women in construction related fields. New college graduates should expect to work their way up the proverbial ladder, putting to use their collaboration and critical thinking skills. While the company itself does not lend itself to tours, the engineers are excited to spread the word about the importance of STEM. We walked away excited about having new connections that reinforced the value of what we are doing in the classroom every day.
For more information about the RTS Transit Center, check out the August 2014 Issue of The Rochester Engineer, a monthly magazine published by the Rochester Engineering Society. In addition, there is a wealth of information on their website.
Katie Nash is a Biology Teacher at Our Lady of Mercy School for Young Women. She participated in the Summer STEM Teaching Institute offered by the Finger Lakes STEM Hub.