Sonoma Raceway is helping to develop the next generation of engineers and scientists with an all-new youth education initiative for the 2014 race season.
The raceway’s goal is to provide real-world experiences and programs to educate students about the importance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) as they relate to motorsports events and business.
As the centerpiece of the program, Sonoma Raceway will partner with Kid Scoop News and Friedman’s Home Improvement on a gravity-powered car challenge, which will culminate at the Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event in June. Three North Bay schools will take part in the program, which challenges students to develop and construct a gravity-powered car, test the effects of different factors, and race them down a sloped track.
Three local schools will take the green flag on this year’s challenge, including Petaluma’s Meadow Elementary School, Napa Junction Elementary School, a local STEM Magnet School, and Waldo Rohnert Elementary School in Rohnert Park.
The cars developed by these student engineers will race in a series of qualifying rounds leading up to the NASCAR race weekend. The finalists from the qualifying rounds will battle for victory in the final round at Lean1 Pole Day at Sonoma Raceway on Saturday, June 21. The winners of the 2014 Friedman’s STEM Car Challenge will receive a trophy and tickets to Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 race.