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In The News

Sonoma Raceway to Unveil New STEM Initiative at Toyota/Save Mart 350

Science and technology go hand in hand with high performance, and Sonoma Raceway will do its parts to help develop the next generation of engineers and scientists with an all-new youth education initiative for the 2014 race season.

The raceway’s goal is to provide real-world experiences and programs to educate students about the importance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) as they relate to motor-sports events and business.

As the centerpiece of the program, Sonoma Raceway will partner with Kid Scoop News and Friedman’s Home Improvement on a gravity-powered car challenge, which will culminate at the Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event in June.  Three North Bay schools will take part in the program, which challenges students to develop and construct a gravity-powered car, test the effects of different factors and race them down a sloped track.

Three local schools will take the green flag on this year’s challenge, including Petaluma’s Meadow Elementary School, Napa Junction Elementary School, a local STEM Magnet School, and Waldo Rohnert Elementary School in Rohnert Park.

The cars developed by these student engineers will race in a series of qualifying rounds leading up to the NASCAR race weekend. The finalists from the qualifying rounds will battle for victory in the final round at Lean1 Pole Day at Sonoma Raceway on Saturday, June 21. The winners of the 2014 Friedman’s STEM Car Challenge will receive a trophy and tickets to Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 race.

"The STEM Race Car Challenge looks at something fun – race cars – from a scientific perspective and connects students to life and occupations in a way that is instructive and engaging," said Vicki Whiting, curriculum developer and publisher of Kid Scoop News. "That's what makes this such an exciting project."

Kid Scoop News is a monthly tabloid newspaper used by more than 1,000 teachers throughout the Bay Area. Each month the newspaper explores timely topics, promotes health and fitness, teaches financial literacy, and showcases student writing and artwork. The paper is packed with games, puzzles and brain teasers that grab young readers’ attention and keep it.

For more information on Sonoma Raceway’s youth initiatives, visit or call 800-870-RACE (RACE).

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