Â 03/29/11 For the eighth year, thousands of Hoosier fourth-grade students will be learning about Indianaâ€™s rich motorsports culture through the 500 Festival and Indianapolis 500Â® Education Program. This year, St. Michael School will be participating in the program and will be attending one of the 10 Study Trips to the Indianapolis Motor SpeedwayÂ® on April 14. There will also be an official media day on April 12 from 10 a.m. – noon, where 500 Festival representatives will be available for comment onsite at the Indianapolis Motor SpeedwayÂ®.
The 500 Festival and Indianapolis 500Â® Education Program is packed with information including an Indiana Academic Standard-based curriculum, teacher materials, a video and the unique opportunity for an educational Study Trip to the Indianapolis Motor SpeedwayÂ® in April or May. At each Study Trip, students will rotate through different stations that will teach them about driver safety, timing and scoring, careers in IndyCar, Indianapolis Motor SpeedwayÂ® history and more. This year nearly 24,000 Indiana fourth graders will participate in the award-winning program, with 9,000 students attending a Study Trip. Nearly 131,000 students have participated since the programâ€™s inception in 2004.
â€śThe ultimate goal of the 500 Festival and Indianapolis 500Â® Education Program is to provide a fun, educational environment in which to show fourth graders the historical and social significances of the 500 Festival, Indianapolis 500Â® and the Indiana motorsports industry,â€ť said Kirk Hendrix, President and CEO of the 500 Festival. â€śWithin the framework of Indiana Academic Standards, we hope to encourage the next generation of race fans to be part of this remarkable culture.â€ť
During the Study Trip, students apply lessons learned in the classroom with on-site programming and experiences designed to further educate them on the significance of the 500 Festival and Indianapolis 500â€™sÂ® heritage and place in Hoosier history. The program is only offered to students in the fourth grade as this is the year students learn Indiana history.
2011 by the numbers:Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
Schools enrolled: 321 with 938 classrooms Â Â Â Â Â
Number of students participating: 23,826
Number of Indiana counties participating: 79 of 92 (86 percent)
The 500 Festival and Indianapolis 500Â® Education Program is sponsored by the 500 Festival, the 500 Festival Foundation, Indianapolis Motor SpeedwayÂ®, the American Dairy Association of Indiana, Inc., AAA Hoosier Motor Club, BKD, LLP and the IZOD IndyCar SeriesÂ®.