On Friday, April 15, 2016, Morada Middle School from Stockton, California placed first in the 14th Annual Garrett Morgan Sustainable Transportation Competition for their Grape Stomp Bio-Fuel Project. The winning team was led by their teacher Michael Hurst and sponsored by the California Transportation Department (Caltrans) Stockton office.
Six teams, three sponsored by Caltrans, competed in this year’s national competition. This is the sixth year Caltrans’ Stockton office sponsored Morada Middle School and the second time the school has won the award. Other participating schools hailed from California (Oakland, Fortuna and San Jose), and Maryland (Gaithersburg).
“I am so proud of these students accomplishment in winning this year’s Garret Morgan Competition,” said Caltrans District 10 Director Dennis Agar. “Their creative minds went to work and gave a great and innovative presentation, this nationwide competition is an excellent building block for kids who aspire to be our transportation leaders in the future. Congratulations to the Morada Middle School for winning this challenging competition for the second time in just the last 4 years.”
On June 18th, Morada Middle School will be recognized at the annual Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) Awards Banquet in San Jose, Calif. where they will receive a plaque and a $1,000 check for their classroom.
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Every year Caltrans sponsors middle school classes that prepare and present their sustainable transportation projects in a national videoconference competition. Caltrans' District liaisons meet throughout the year to recruit, enroll and assist schools as they prepare for the competition. MTI provides the workbooks to each enrolled class in November, and district engineers and other transportation professionals begin to assist the classes as they prepare their projects. Projects are entered in February, and then presented to their peers and dignitaries. This year’s symposium included Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty and current U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.