In a unique approach to emphasize the value of an education in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), Mazda Motorsports developed a program in 2014 that uses the excitement of Mazda racing to inspire and educate high school students about the various career paths they can choose from by studying the STEM disciplines. The interactive presentation that is given at schools across the nation demonstrates how each of the subjects – science, technology, engineering and math – play an important role when it comes to winning on and off the race track.
The presentation, titled “Racing Accelerates Creative Education” (R.A.C.E.), brings students into the world of racing in an engaging way. Joel Miller, a degreed mechanical engineer and factory driver for the Mazda Prototype team, walks students through each of the four sections and provides a first-person narrative on how his education in STEM allowed him to succeed in the world of racing.
“IF WE CAN MOTIVATE EVEN A HANDFUL OF KIDS AT EACH SCHOOL TO EXPLORE A STEM CAREER, WE’VE SUCCEEDED.”
“Auto racing is fun, exciting and on the leading edge of new technologies,” said Miller. “We use that to show that there are more than 60 careers directly related to STEM in our industry and countless more in other industries. When the program ends and the students walk outside to see the race car, the big lesson is that anything is possible if they dream big. If we can motivate even a handful of kids at each school to explore a STEM career, we’ve succeeded.”
Dozens of people are critical to winning a race and if the motorsports industry is to have a strong future with passionate people working in each role, Mazda Motorsports leads the way in motivating future STEM superstars to go for their dreams.