Published: Nov 15, 2016 12:00:00 AM
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During a recent field trip, Auburn High School students discovered how engineers at the National Center for Asphalt Technology (NCAT) conduct research in a professional setting. Students enrolled in the International Baccalaureate (IB) biology and chemistry programs visited NCAT on October 31 for a brief history and overview of asphalt pavements followed by educational tours of the main facility and Test Track.
The field trip took students through three lab stations where they learned about several types of asphalt binders, aggregate characteristics, recycled materials, and test methods. They then took the school bus to the Test Track where they were able to lap the track and discuss asphalt pavement construction and data collection methods.
The IB program is research-based with a full slate of rigorous courses focused on inquiry, communication, and independent thinking. While visiting NCAT, students had the opportunity to think critically, ask challenging questions, and discuss the research methods that lead to safe and sustainable asphalt pavements.