Karting Events, Student Fair Bring STEM to IMS
The director of motorsports at Purdue University says this week's electric karting events and M-STEM3 Student Fair at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway allow hundreds of high school and college students put STEM skills learned in school to the test. Danny White says STEM subjects are among the highest need when it comes to remedial courses in college. He says getting into high schools and allowing students to apply STEM knowledge helps them understand and allows universities to proactively address the issue.
White says the program allows students to apply what they have learned in many parts of their education. In addition to building a functioning electric kart, student teams must also engage business the business community to find sponsorship and work with other student groups and organizations in areas including decal design and travel logistics.
He says it is also important for the program to be inclusive and reach all areas of the state.
"We had to make sure when we developed the program that it was just as effective in an urban setting, a rural setting or a suburban setting," White tells Inside INdiana Business. "We've got schools from all over in many different demographics. It's a very well-rounded program."
The high school series, which runs today and tomorrow, features 20 electric karts, each developed by a team of 15 or more students. The collegiate series, which runs Tuesday and Wednesday, will feature more than 20 karts made by students from Purdue, the University of Oklahoma, Ivy Tech Community College, Ivy Tech - Evansville, Purdue College of Technology at Kokomo, Keenesaw State University and the University of Northwestern Ohio.
The Speedway also hosted the M-STEM 500 Student today. The event drew a record 1,000 middle school and high school students, featuring representatives from organizations including Honda Performance Development, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing and Andretti Autosport.