DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 21, 2010) – Science, Technology, Engineering and Math – also known as STEM – are as critical to the success of NASCAR as tires, an engine, fuel and a steering column. To demonstrate the importance of learning about STEM in school, Bank of America and The NASCAR Foundation hosted 100 local middle school students today at Daytona International Speedway for the “Bank of America Students at the Speedway” program to help celebrate NASCAR Day, the sport’s annual charitable celebration that benefits children across the nation. As the centerpiece of the program, NASCAR legend Rusty Wallace and Bank of America East Central Florida Market President Sam Willett will lead the students in a racing-themed interactive game focused on Math.
Students from David C. Hinson Senior Middle, Indian Trail Middle, Buddy Taylor Middle and Campbell Middle participated in a variety of activities designed to demonstrate the critical role that STEM plays in the sport of NASCAR, while exposing them to the kinds of exciting careers they can pursue by concentrating on these important subjects. The program is an natural extension of the bank’s support of education. Bank of America invested over $20 million in 2009 for academic achievement, dropout prevention and mentoring programs.
“Teachable moments don’t always come within the confines of the classroom,” said Sam Willett, East Central Florida Market President for Bank of America. “It’s our hope that through what students learn about STEM during Bank of America’s Students at the Speedway will encourage these kids and provide a practical application of how science, technology, engineering and math can impact their future.”
Bank of America, The NASCAR Foundation, Daytona International Speedway and a team of engineer-educators from Ten80 Education organized the event activities for students which include:
• “Bank of America STEM 500,” a racing-themed interactive game demonstrating how Math is applied to the daily operations and finances of a race team; Bank of America associates will assist the students
• Tour of the track/infield to showcasing how STEM to track banking, refueling strategies, drive lines, etc.
• A variety of stations including the FastTrack RC National STEM League in which students authentically apply STEM to optimize performance of remote-control cars just like motorsports professionals
• Students will also receive a ticket for the Coke Zero 400 on July 3 at Daytona International Speedway
Additionally, Ten80 Education will provide professional development to 20 middle school teachers so they can effectively bring race-themed STEM education back to the classroom. Schools will also receive STEM curriculum kits and the FastTrack RC program so the initiative can extend to all students at each of the four schools.
“Volusia County Schools is thrilled to be part of NASCAR Day 2010 and how it will give middle school students an opportunity to gain an understanding of STEM and how it’s critical to the motorsports industry. We appreciate the sponsorship of this event and look forward to incorporating the donated FastTrack RC Kits and other STEM materials into our curriculum,” said Margaret Bambrick, mathematics specialist, Volusia County Schools.
NASCAR Day is an annual charitable celebration of the NASCAR spirit that enables fans and corporate partners to join together to make a difference in the lives of children. The Daytona Beach project is one of five keystone events taking place today aimed at helping children live happier, healthier lives. The “Big Five” projects include: partnering with Bank of America for a racing-themed educational initiative at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla.; renovation and race theme decoration of a portion of the Aflac Cancer Center and Blood Disorders Service in Atlanta, Ga,; working with Sprint, Inc. for a playground build at the Kansas City Ronald McDonald House in Kansas City, Mo.; A Place for Hope project outside Charlotte, N.C. and a fundraiser at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. to support Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital.
For more information please visit the website at WWW.NASCAR.COM/NASCARDay.