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honoring the people that make life go...


The Transportation Heroes Center is an interactive, educational web-based exhibit created by the Iowa Transportation Museum in Grinnell, Iowa. The Heroes Center serves to honor people who have made a difference in the transportation industry before the museum’s doors officially open to the public. The Heroes Center features stories, photos and educational games to showcase real people who have played a role in Iowa’s rich transportation legacy.

abouttheheroescenter.jpgThe heart of the Heroes Center is the database of transportation heroes. Our definition of a Transportation Hero is all-encompassing; they maybe living or deceased; have a 'high profile name' or not be well-known at all. Their nomination may be due to one conspicuous act or it may be based on many years of loyal and caring service. Nominations for the Heroes Center are accepted year-round with no limit to the number of individuals who can be inducted each year. You can nominate heroes to any of the three categories:

  • “Heroes by Example” – transportation workers who have accomplished their everyday job in an extraordinary way;
  • “Heroes of Industry and Technology” – those individuals who have made significant breakthroughs or contributions in transportation-related industries or technologies; and
  • “Heroes of Valor” – transportation workers who have placed their life at risk – either willingly or unknowingly – while on the job, or citizens who have contributed selfless acts within the field of transportation.

Anyone can nominate a hero. Selections are reviewed by a Selection Committee composed of industry professionals and co-chaired by the honorable Governor Robert Ray, former governor of Iowa.

In addition to serving as a living archive of Iowa’s rich transportation history, the site provides educators to explore real history, social studies, engineering and math in action. The content available online is easily accessible for young readers and can be adapted to fit into any number of lesson plans and planned curriculum. Additionally, a special “Learning Zone” section provides specialized educational games and learning opportunities for younger visitors to explore the world of transportation.

By providing role models to our youth, the Heroes Center hopes to inspire and motivate the next generation to enter the field of transportation. To help them start their journey, the Career section has numerous resources for future heroes including job descriptions and scholarship information to help them make their dreams a reality.


The Heroes Center serves as the centerpiece of the Iowa Transportation Museum, currently in development in Grinnell at the former site of the historic Spaulding Manufacturing Co., where thousands of horse drawn vehicles and motorcars were once produced in the early 1900s.

The mission of the Iowa Transportation Museum is to explore the evolution of transportation, making it come alive to enhance our understanding of how transportation systems and workers contribute to the culture and quality of life we enjoy. Content from the Heroes Center will be used to help develop future exhibitions at the museum. For further information about the museum or its Heroes Center, visit www.IowaTransportationMuseum.org.

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