Montana State University
Skip Navigation LinksHome > Education > Summer Transportation Institute

College of Engineering

Western Transportation Institute
P.O. Box 174250
Bozeman, MT 59717-4250

Physical Address:
2327 University Way #6
Bozeman, MT 59715

Tel: (406) 994-6114
Fax: (406) 994-1697
E-mail: WTI Office


Steve Albert



Summer Transportation Institute


Our nation's transportation system impacts each of us every day. We need to develop the next generation of engineers, scientists, planners, designers and innovators to tackle the transportation problems of today to make a difference tomorrow.

The Summer Transportation Institute (STI) is an innovative summer program for high school students guaranteed to spark their interest in transportation through creative problem-solving and hands-on activities. Participants will have the opportunity to experience college life, explore career options, and improve their academic performance. Students gain skills in applied science and math, work together with their peers on design teams, and meet university and professional staff in the transportation field.

The STI provides a stimulating introduction to all modes of transportation through professional presentations, field trips, and hands-on activities. Participants live in the dormitories on campus and participate in a sports and recreation program in the evenings and on weekends. The program is free to all selected participants. Food, housing, and program expenses are paid for by a generous grant from the Federal Highway Administration.

Summer Transportation Institute Video

Who Participates?

Rising 10th, 11th, and 12th grade students

How to Apply?

Click on the Summer Transportation Institute Application link to download an application form. Send in your application to the address listed (applications accepted until program filled. Priority given to applications received by March 17).

2014 STI Application (ms word)

download 2014 STI Application (pdf)

acrobat To view the application you need Adobe Reader, download.

When is it?

June 15-27, 2014

Where is it held?

Montana State University campus in Bozeman.

Academic Activities

STI participants learn about all modes of transportation and about transportation safety. Activities include presentations, field trips, and hands-on activities. Topics include:

Transportation Infrastructure

Design, build and test road construction materials including asphalt, concrete, and soils in fun hands-on labs.


Use the Western Transportation Institute's Driving Simulator to design a simulator scenario that will put your friends' driving skills to the test.

Road Ecology

Learn how ecologists work with highway engineers to reduce road kill and other negative environmental impacts of roads.

Air, Water, and Land Transportation

Explore scenic and unique Montana destinations on field trips geared to further your understanding of air, water, and land transportation.

Traffic Engineering

Understand traffic engineering by exploring the planning and design process as it relates to traffic flow.

Team Design Projects

STI participants learn to work in teams on a number of competitive and non-competitive group projects. Examples include balsa wood bridges, gliders, small electric cars with gears, and crash attenuators.

Sports and Recreation

The STI is not all work and no play! Enthusiastic residence hall assistants organize a diverse sports and recreation program during free time in the evenings and on weekends. Some possible activities include:

Field Trips

Meeting professionals in their workplace is the best way to learn about career opportunities. STI participants take a number of field trips during the program to experience different modes of transportation and to experience transportation careers. Some examples are provided below:

Enhancement Program

One of the goals of the Summer Transportation Institute is to prepare students for college and careers. STI participants will learn essential college preparatory information about degrees and coursework, applying for colleges, obtaining financial aid, and choosing a major.

STI participants also have the opportunity to take a career "strong interest survey" to help them better understand their work environment preferences. They also learn tips from MSU's Career Services experts about researching careers and salaries, finding job opportunities, and building a winning resume.


Program funding is provided by the Federal Highway Administration. All housing, meal, and program expenses are covered by the sponsor for students accepted into the program.

Previous Years