By Eileen Houlihan, senior writer/editor, ARTBA

A high school student from Maryland and an undergraduate student from Texas were named the top prize winners of ARTBA’s 5th Annual “Student Transportation Video Contest.”  Each will receive a $500 cash prize. Submissions in one of two categories – Elementary, Middle or High School students or Post-Secondary, College or Graduate students – were reviewed by a panel of ARTBA members, and the winning entries screened during the association’s 2015 National Convention, held Sept. 29 – Oct. 1 in Philadelphia.

De`Jia Long-Hillie of Montgomery Blair High School in Takoma Park, Maryland, won for the nicely narrated “Metro Rail” video about the Washington, D.C. rapid transit system, the second-busiest in the U.S. after the New York City subway system. Her video emphasizes the importance of transit and the need to maintain and upgrade infrastructure, focusing on the aging system that opened in 1976.

Alexis Gamboa of the University of North Texas in Denton won the college student category. Gamboa’s video discusses the lack of investment in transportation infrastructure and the need for Americans to voice their concerns to their political representatives. Watch the video that outlines how the underfunding of transportation affects other aspects of the economy.

And view all the winning videos.

Sponsored by ARTBA’s Research and Education Division (RED), the contest aims to raise awareness about infrastructure issues by challenging students to develop brief videos exploring various topics relating to America’s transportation network. Submission topics ranged from the challenges of transportation infrastructure financing, environmental and sustainable construction methods, streetcars and light rail systems revitalizing urban areas, and the benefits of alternative modes of transportation.

The competition is advertised annually on college scholarship websites, online video contest sites, shared with Council of University Transportation Centers (CUTC) members and high schools that focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), as well as shared on ARTBA’s social media accounts.