03/29/11 For the eighth year, thousands of Hoosier fourth-grade students will be learning about Indiana’s rich motorsports culture through the 500 Festival and Indianapolis 500® 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 Speedway® 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 Speedway®.
The 500 Festival and Indianapolis 500® 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 Speedway® 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 Speedway® 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 program’s inception in 2004.
“The ultimate goal of the 500 Festival and Indianapolis 500® 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 500® and the Indiana motorsports industry,” said Kirk Hendrix, President and CEO of the 500 Festival. “Within the framework of Indiana Academic Standards, we hope to encourage the next generation of race fans to be part of this remarkable culture.”
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 500’s® 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:
Schools enrolled: 321 with 938 classrooms
Number of students participating: 23,826
Number of Indiana counties participating: 79 of 92 (86 percent)
The 500 Festival and Indianapolis 500® Education Program is sponsored by the 500 Festival, the 500 Festival Foundation, Indianapolis Motor Speedway®, the American Dairy Association of Indiana, Inc., AAA Hoosier Motor Club, BKD, LLP and the IZOD IndyCar Series®.