MATC After-School Program Expands in Outreach and Curriculum

Students doing a project
Tipi stick project completed by students
Student using catapult
Students testing their handmade catapults
Students using a travois
Students packing on a travois

The Spring 2022 semester returned the MATC Roads, Rails, and Race Cars (RRRC) After-School program to schools in Lincoln. With the program’s resurgence, new ideas on Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math were introduced in the club’s projects. In addition to the activities teaching students about the science and engineering behind transportation, it also taught students how art and engineering could be combined. For example, students learned about fundamentals of structural engineering, then applied those to creating free standing sculptures.

MATC expanded the outreach of the Roads, Rails, and Race Cars program by offering a Fun Day to Saratoga Elementary School. On a no-school day in February, students participated in a range of activities, similar to the ones in the RRRC after-school program curriculum.

The students designed a tipi using craft sticks and construction paper, learning why the structure’s design worked so well for the nomadic Native Americans. They constructed a catapult and tested it with marshmallows, seeing whose would launch them the farthest. This gave the students an example of the science behind machines, and how the more potential energy stored in the rubber band, the farther their projectiles will fly. The students had a lot of fun building travois and racing them across the gym. They learned how the design would enable Native American tribes to efficiently carry large loads as they moved from place to place.

Share your News with MATC!

If you are a student, faculty member, or other affiliate of the Mid-America Transportation Center, we are eager to share your news of your work and accomplishments.

Send your information to Madison Schmidt at and it could appear in MATC's website, newsletter, Facebook, and Twitter.