Motorsports career day shows students how STEM skills make a race team run
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CHARLOTTE -- Hundreds of high schoolers are learning more about the motorsports industry as part of this year's Bank of America 500.
“I'm expecting to learn more about cars and how they work and how the engine and the motor systems are put together,” said ninth-grader Sylvester Brooks, who wants to design his own car someday.
Right now, Brooks and his classmates get to see how fast they can take one apart. The Pit Crew Challenge is just one of the ways hundreds of high schoolers are learning about career opportunities in the motorsports industry.
They're hearing first-hand from NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne that it's not all about racing.
“There was a kid that asked, 'well I thought you could only drive in NASCAR,' and you know that's what it may look like, but there are so many things that go into making the team succeed and making the team make it to the racetrack before you even get on the track to race, and it's so many people that do that are not doing the driving,” Kahne said.
Bank of America organized Motorsports Career Day at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The event showcases the $6 billion industry's vast disciplines like engineering, marketing, safety and competition.
“They'll experience some race conditions. They'll relate certain mathematical calculations to outcomes in a race, so it's really about experiencing the professionals in the sport and experiencing the work of the sport and connecting it to math and science and technology,” said Bank of America GTO Cathy Bessant.
Bessant calls it a teachable moment that you can't easily learn in a classroom.
“The STEM curriculum is hugely important because the passion for what you might want to do someday starts young,” she said.
By incorporating subjects they're studying at school, she hopes this experience could help lead students to a future career path.