Detroit High School Students Experience Automaker’s New R.A.C.E. Program
Mazda revved up high schoolers on Tuesday, May 27 with its highly acclaimed national educational outreach program presented to more than 700 Detroit Public Schools’ students at Martin Luther King, Jr. Senior High School. Designed to encourage the nation’s high school students to consider studies in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subject areas, Mazda’s Racing Accelerates Creative Education (R.A.C.E.) program engaged DPS students from 10 different schools just days before the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship race on Belle Isle, May 30-31.
The engineering-based automotive manufacturer developed the R.A.C.E. educational program to demonstrate the many real-world, exciting science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) applications used throughout the automobile industry. The curriculum of this turn-key, interactive learning forum was also designed to motivate and engage the next generation of STEM superstars.
The company’s racing arm, Mazda Motorsports, is taking the lead with the R.A.C.E. program, which has been seen by nearly 3,500 students in Florida and California. The goal is to reach more than a dozen schools across North America as the Motorsports team travels to events on the 2014 race circuit. As part of the curriculum, Mazda provided the following teaching aids at the King High School event:
- Mazda’s TUDOR United Sports Car Championship SKYACTIV-D Clean Diesel Prototype show car (identical in appearance to the actual racecar that’ll compete on Belle Isle, May 30-31).
- A powerful, fully illustrated presentation that shows the importance of each one of the disciplines of science, technology, engineering and mathematics and the role they play in motorsports and the auto industry.
- Mazda’s Director of Motorsports and the company’s factory race car driver/engineer Joel Miller provided real-life examples of what it takes to race at the highest level of the sport.
“We are honored to host this amazing and thought-provoking experience on the campus of King High School,” said Alycia Meriweather, Executive Director, Detroit Public Schools Office of Science. “DPS emphasizes the importance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics to strengthen our overall academic curriculum. This event connects our students to the STEM field in an exciting new way through motor sports.”
John Doonan, Director, Mazda Motorsports, added, “We are convinced that our R.A.C.E. program demonstrates in an interesting, fun and engaging way how science, technology, engineering and mathematics are central to the success of Mazda on the race track and in the marketplace. More important, by showing them examples of how exciting problem solving can be in the STEM arena, we believe Detroit high school students will be even more motivated to always be curious and open minded.”
Mazda is focusing on high school students for its R.A.C.E. program as they are armed with enough learning to be able to explore the STEM potential around them. Cars are the most technologically sophisticated products owned by the average consumer and there are numerous applications within the STEM arena. According to a new study by the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) in Ann Arbor, MI, the integration of technology into the motor vehicle is creating an unprecedented demand for workers with high-tech skills, making this one of the most exciting industries in which to be employed.
To that end, Meriweather added, “STEM initiatives provide opportunities for students to be creative, imaginative, and innovative. They learn to solve real-life problems and, through the process, are driven and inspired to learn and do more. Mazda’s R.A.C.E. program creates an exemplary experience from a STEM perspective, while helping our students understand the many career pathways they have for a happy, productive future.”
Participating schools included: Cass Technical High School, Communication and Media Arts High School, Davis Aerospace Technical High School, Detroit International Academy for Young Women, Douglass Academy for Young Men, East English Village Preparatory Academy, Martin Luther King, Jr. Senior High School, Renaissance High School, Western International High School, and West Side Academy.
Mazda North American Operations is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., and oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States and Mexico through nearly 700 dealers. Operations in Mexico are managed by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City. For more information on Mazda vehicles, including photography and B-roll, please visit the online Mazda media center at www.mazdausamedia.com.