| All TRAC™ activities are structured to allow students to teach themselves what they need to know in order to solve the problems. The students are given inspiration, guidance, and the proper tools, and they work in teams, just as transportation professionals and engineers routinely do.
Instead of sitting passively while listening to lectures, students become explorers and investigators. They can build a magnetic levitation train that actually works, measure the impact of collisions, even use a computer program to create a city and watch it grow. They seek out and absorb information, formulate new ways of solving problems, and learn that working in transportation is fun, exciting, stimulating, challenging, and doable.
| The teacher acts as facilitator for the students as they explore the problems presented in the TRAC™ module. The teacher's knowledge becomes a resource as the students investigate ways to approach the problem.
TRAC™ activities are designed around a number of disciplines. Math teachers use the program at every level from basic algebra to advanced calculus, with activities that illustrate computer spreadsheets, geometry, graphing data, probabilities distribution, and queuing. Physical science classes address friction, gravity, magnetism, motion, and structures. Social science teachers explore the environment, urban planning, history, local government, technology's relationship to society, politics, and government regulations.
| Volunteers are usually engineers from state departments of transportation, though they could also be persons from other transportation related fields. Their typical role is to be a mentor to the students and to assist the teacher in presenting the TRAC™ material. Then, for as long as the module remains in the school, volunteers remain on call to provide technical assistance and to answer students’ college and career questions.
The volunteers serve as role models and may be the first engineers the students have ever met.