For the 11th year, thousands of Hoosier fourth-graders will learn about Indiana’s legendary motorsports culture through the 500 Festival and Indianapolis 500 Education Program, presented by Indiana University Health.
Several Hendricks County elementary schools are planning to participate in the program and attend one of the eight study trips to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Reagan Elementary and Van Buren Elementary will visit the track on April 8, Sycamore Elementary will be there on April 11, Cardinal Elementary and St. Susanna School are scheduled for April 14, Our Shepherd Lutheran School will visit on May 19, and Danville South Elementary will make the trip on May 20.
The education program is packed with information, including an Indiana Academic Standard-based curriculum, teacher materials, a video and, of course, the opportunity for an educational study trip to the track.
During the course of the study trip, fourth-graders travel from station to station to learn more about IMS and the Indianapolis 500. Stations include, but are not limited to, a scavenger hunt in the IMS Hall of Fame Museum, a tour of the Pagoda and Victory Podium, seeing an IndyCar up close and personal, and a tour of the Medical Hospital that is used throughout the month of May.
There are two new stations at this year’s Study Trip. The Driver Equipment station shows students the ins and outs of a driver’s helmet and what drivers need to wear on race day to stay safe. The Numbers of the 500 station encourages students to think quickly on their feet as they will be given math equations to solve through a Jeopardy game.
This year more than 25,000 Indiana fourth-graders will participate in the award-winning program, with about 9,000 students attending a study trip. More than 250,000 students have participated since the program’s inception in 2004.
The education program is offered to only the fourth-grade because the program is designed to coincide with the fourth-grade focus on Indiana state history.