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Local middle school students developing sustainable transportation ideas for national competition

FORTUNA- Local middle school students are developing their own sustainable transportation ideas as part of a national competition.

"The experience that there going to gain from just competing in a national competition just gives them confidence that they can take with them in job interviews, in college applications, in scholarship applications and just help them believe in themselves and have more confidence in their skills in the future," said Sheri Rodriguez, a Transportation Engineer with Caltrans, District 1.

Caltrans is sponsoring Toddy Thomas Middle School in Fortuna for the Garrett Morgan Symposium.  Eight grade students at the school are split into 20 teams, where they develop their own ideas relating to sustainable transportation. On Wednesday, the kids worked with Caltrans officials to refine their ideas. The top five teams will advance to the District Finals.  Then, Caltrans representatives will pick the winning teams, which will compete in the national competition in May using a video teleconference system.

"It's fun to come up with your own ideas, to maybe come up with an idea that nobody has done and to have that certain special aspect of it to just be unique," said Colby Lopez, and 8th grade student.

"It's fun to use your imagination because there's no stopping point, you can do whatever you want and nothing is wrong," said Kaley McKenny, an 8th grade student.