By Andrew M., Youth Ambassador representing South San Mateo County @samtransyouth

The 12th Annual Transportation Museum, held October 27, hosted over 300 visitors of all ages as they explored transportation topics through hands-on displays. The annual, one-day museum, which is held at a local school in San Carlos, features educational and interactive exhibits and activities related to all kinds of transportation.

At the age of five, museum director Andrew Mancini created The Transportation Museum as a way to share his knowledge of, and love for, transportation with friends, family, and neighbors. In the years since, the museum has grown into an annual community event involving partnerships with local transit agencies and new exhibits every year.

Museum Director Andrew Mancini

One of this year’s exhibits analyzed the legacy of the Transcontinental Railroad, celebrating 150 years this past May. Visitors dove deep into lesser-known parts of the railroad’s construction, including the politics of choosing the route through the northern part of the country (by “coincidence,” when the Southern states who opposed the northern route were fighting in the Civil War and couldn’t have a say in the decision).

Guests enjoying the exhibits

Kids—and kids at heart—enjoyed the challenge of the museum’s air traffic control-themed escape room. Guests were locked in a room and had 10 minutes to search around for clues that would solve the puzzle, release them, and prevent the “oncoming plane” from crashing…

Many museum visitors had a blast driving a remote-controlled bus on a San Mateo County-themed obstacle course. Courtesy of SamTrans, guests drove the bus along a route, stopped at the bus stops, and practiced backing up and turning, all while competing for the fastest time possible. As a bonus, the kids even got to honk the horn!

SamTrans remote-controlled bus and obstacle course

The California High-Speed Rail Authority hosted a booth to engage with visitors about current construction and progress of the project. Guests also participated in a Metropolitan Transportation Commission survey by answering questions about the future of the Bay Area, which helps the organization form its Plan Bay Area 2050.

Other exhibits ranged from exploring the benefits and drawbacks of transit villages in the Bay Area, along with the opportunity for kids to create their own transit villages out of LEGOs, to a virtual reality display showing 360˚ experiences of trains around the world.

This year’s museum hosted three other youth transportation fans. One student pilot from Burlingame High School brought a flight simulator that allowed visitors to experience flying, with advice from a real pilot. Additionally, two middle school students from Foster City presented on their proposals to solving Bay Area traffic.

The 13th Annual Transportation Museum promises more exciting exhibits and transportation-related activities! All ages are welcome to attend the event, which will take place in fall 2020. To explore more of the museum’s history and exhibits, and sign up to learn more about next year’s museum, visit

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