TAMPA, Fla., March 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Mazda plans to get high schoolers revved up tomorrow when it presents its highly acclaimed national educational outreach program to more than 600 students at Middleton High School in Tampa. Designed to encourage the nation's middle- and high-school students to consider studies in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, Mazda's Racing Accelerates Creative Education (R.A.C.E) program comes to the Hillsborough County Public Schools just 10 days before the world famous 12 Hours of Sebring endurance sports car race in nearby Sebring, FL.
The engineering based automotive manufacturer developed the R.A.C.E. educational program to demonstrate some of 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. The goal is to reach at least a dozen schools across North America as the Motorsports team travels to events on the 2014 race circuit. As part of the curriculum, Mazda is making available the following teaching aids to Middleton High School:
- Mazda's TUDOR United Sports Car Championship SKYACTIV-D Clean Diesel Prototype show car.
- 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.
- Select professional race drivers and engineers from Mazda Motorsports on hand to provide real life examples of what it takes to race at the highest level of the sport.
"We are honored to host this amazing experience at Middleton Pre-Collegiate STEM Academy, home of the district's premier engineering and technology magnet programs," said Hillsborough County Public Schools Superintendent MaryEllen Elia. "This event will connect our students to the STEM field in an exciting new way through the field of motor sports."
John Doonan, Director, Mazda Motorsports, added, "Although the students at Middleton High have already expressed an interest in STEM, we are convinced that our R.A.C.E. program will demonstrate 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 students will be even more motivated to always be curious and open minded."
Mazda is focusing on middle- and high-school students for their 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, Larry Plank, Director for K-12 STEM Education from Hillsborough County Public Schools 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. The Mazda Motorsports R.A.C.E. program creates an exemplary experience from a STEM perspective, while helping the students understand the many career pathways they have for a happy, productive future."
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 more than 700 dealers. Operations in Mexico are managed by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City.
SOURCE Mazda North American Operations