ATLANTA (May 9, 2017) – Science, technology, engineering, the arts, and math (STEAM) all played an important role in Alexander Rossi driving his Honda-powered race car to a scintillating victory in the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 last May.
On Tuesday, May 16, the Andretti Herta Autosport with Curb-Agajanian driver will address Indiana high school students about how he and Honda Performance Development engineers utilize STEAM every time the No. 98 Honda rolls onto the racetrack during the Honda STEAM Connections Tour event in conjunction with Purdue University’s MSTEM3 Student Fair at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
On Monday, May 15, Rahal Letterman Lanigran Racing driver Graham Rahal will address Indiana middle school students about how STEAM high school curriculum aided his professional race car driver development. Both Verizon IndyCar Series race winners also will conduct a Q&A with the audience in the East Chalet.
The Student Fair, in its fourth year, will feature hands-on experiences and displays from area colleges that showcase how STEAM applies to exciting fields of study and careers.
“We anticipate more than 1,300 high school and middle school students during these two days,” said Danny White, director of motorsports at Purdue University’s Office of Engagement. “The STEM focus of these two days, where we can showcase the science, technology, engineering, and math behind motorsports, pays huge dividends in helping students understand real-life applications. And having marquee talent from Honda’s IndyCar program like last year’s Indy 500 winner Alexander Rossi and Graham Rahal really gets the students’ attention.”
Additionally, Pit Rho Analytics – a leading machine learning and analytics firm that has developed a real-time strategy tool for use in motorsports – will engage students with a multimedia presentation about how Verizon IndyCar Series teams can gain insight and perspective for real-time responsive strategy decisions through data science. Pit Rho has worked closely with the NBC, ESPN and ABC TV networks to showcase the predictability of its analytics system
“The objective that I want to communicate with the students is that with a STEAM background you can have a really fun career in motorsports or sports in general,” said Pit Rho senior analyst Andrew Maness. “The examples that we’ll use to tie that theme together is last year’s Indy 500 and how (team co-owner and race strategist) Bryan Herta recognized that it was more optimal to slow down than go faster. We’ll show a simple equation where you run slower lap times but you also don’t waste 40 seconds by pitting an extra time.”
An added feature will be an Instagram LIVE broadcast of each “Ted Talk” by the Honda drivers and Pit Rho. The Monday, May 15, telecast will begin at 10 a.m. ET and conclude at 10:45. The Tuesday, May 16, telecast will begin at 10:45 a.m. ET and conclude at 11:30. The telecasts can be accessed by following @STEAMConnections.
Media is invited to attend both sessions that start at 10 a.m. in the East Chalet (behind Pagoda Plaza). Rahal will be available for brief interviews at 10:20 a.m. ET Monday, May 15, while Rossi will be available at 11:05 a.m. ET Tuesday, May 16.
The Honda STEAM Connections Tour of universities across the nation, in its second year, emphasizes the science, technology, engineering, arts, and math that play a critical role in motorsports and automotive development. The tour is organized and managed by STEAM Sports Group.
For more information
Megan Huckaby (Purdue University), firstname.lastname@example.org, 765-496-1325
Dave Lewandowski (STEAM Sports Group), email@example.com, 317-331-9385
Honda Performance Development (HPD) was founded in 1993 to spearhead Honda’s entry into Indy car racing. No other manufacturer has matched Honda’s success in Indy cars, which includes 220 race victories, 15 drivers’ championships, six competitive manufacturers’ championships and 10 Indianapolis 500 victories since 2004.
In addition to Indy car competition, HPD and Honda have a history of success in the classic endurance sports car races, including a pair of LMP2 wins and a privateer LMP1 victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans since 2010; as well as multiple American Le Mans Series championships and five LMP2 class victories at the 12 Hours of Sebring since 2007.
HPD offers a complete line of race engines for cars from grass roots to pinnacle; for professional, amateur and entry-level racers. For more information about HPD and the company’s racing product lines, please visit http://hpd.honda.com.
Purdue University Office of Engagement represents all the Colleges as it advances its land grant mission through the State of Indiana. MSTEM3 is a College and Career Readiness Program that was developed with the input of many of the different Colleges at Purdue University. The High School evKarting program is second to none and is the premier K-16 project base applied learning system for College and Career Readiness available. It is sought by many in the International Academia STEM arena to bring relevance to their classrooms. Purdue University was ranked #4 for Public Universities in the United States. The evKarting platform not only brings relevance to the classroom but it is cool and exciting for the students.
STEAM Sports Group is a marketing and special events firm that focuses on how to integrate corporate STEM and STEAM initiatives (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) with sporting events, leagues, conferences, governing associations and athletes. STEAM Sports Foundation is SSG’s ancillary 501c3 that seeks funding primarily for educational programs, curriculums and scholarships in an effort to unite business, education and sports. Recognizing workforce and economic development as an integral part of corporate growth, SSG and SSF work with companies, educators and sports groups to develop initiatives around science, technology, engineering, arts and math that prepare and excite America’s youth in an effort to create tomorrow’s vibrant workforce.