If there’s one field trip permission slip that you’d want to make sure your parents sign, it would have to be this one.
In early October, we invited 25 students from Charlotte, N.C.’s Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School on an outing to the home base for Hendrick Motorsports, a Time Warner Cable partner. As part of our Connect a Million Minds initiative, we hosted the NASCAR-fueled field trip as a way to show kids the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) behind racing, and highlight some of the STEM careers — from drivers and crew chiefs to engineers and machinists — that are critical to the competitive sport.
In true shake and bake fashion, speed-obsessed students learned what makes cars go fast. Kasey Kahne, driver of the No. 5 Time Warner Cable Chevrolet, and his crew chief Kenny Francis shared how science plays a role in their careers, and in prepping cars to take top speeds around the motorway. After a Q&A with Kahne and Francis, kids went behind-the-scenes of the Hendrick facility to see drivers and engineers prepping cars for an upcoming race.
At the end of the day, students left with a new found appreciation for the engineering and science behind the track, as well as two passes each to attend a weekend race featuring Kasey and Kenny at the Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Learn more about how science helps put the pedal to the medal by visiting STEM in Sports on connectamillionminds.com. Here, you’ll find original videos with professional drivers Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon talking about the physics of auto racing, as well as downloadable games and activities that parents can share with their kids to get them amped about the science of the speedway.