May 18, 2023
The 500 Festival, today announces the winners of its essay contest and best classroom contest for the 2023 500 Festival and Indianapolis 500 Education Program, presented by Indiana University Health. This year, 23,344 Indiana fourth-grade students took part in the Education Program.
The Education Program is a free program for Indiana fourth-grade classrooms that immerses students in the world of the Indianapolis 500 and the 500 Festival. The program consists of a full in-class curriculum designed to meet fourth-grade Indiana Academic Standards. Registered schools are also able to bring the classroom lessons to life by requesting to host a Mobile Trip at their school or attending a Study Trip at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The program takes place during the spring semester and is highly encouraged for all fourth-grade classrooms to participate.
Alice L., a fourth-grade student from Syracuse, Indiana has been named the winner of the 2023 Education Program essay contest. Students who participated in the essay contest were prompted to imagine themselves as an INDYCAR team owner and to select a local Indiana business to sponsor their car and explain their selection.
As the 2023 essay contest winner, Alice received a prize pack from Regions Bank, 4 tickets to the Indianapolis 500, and 4 tickets to the AES 500 Festival Parade. To read the winning essay, click here. Alice’s teacher, Valerie Leininger, also received 2 tickets to the AES 500 Festival Parade and a teacher school supply pack from Regions Bank.
The essay contest runners-up were Tristan D. from the Indiana School for the Deaf and Melody S. from Syracuse Elementary. Both students received a prize pack from Regions Bank and 2 tickets to the AES 500 Festival Parade.
Best Classroom Contest
Janae Quinn’s fourth-grade class from Eastern Elementary in Greentown, Indiana has been named the winner of the 2023 Best Classroom Contest. They received the highest marks for creating a classroom theme based on the 500 Festival and Indianapolis 500 events. Classroom themes were judged on originality, design, student involvement, and the quality of education components incorporated into classroom learning. Quinn’s class won a pizza party provided by Regions Bank. To view a photo of the class with their award, click here.
“The 500 Festival & Indianapolis 500 Education Program, presented by Indiana University Health, plays an important role in the 500 Festival’s mission to enrich lives, foster positive community impact and celebrate the Indy 500,” said Bob Bryant, president and CEO of the 500 Festival. "We had many photos and submissions for this year’s contests! The essays were creative and illuminated the spirit of May in Indianapolis. The classrooms and fourth-grade students went above and beyond to showcase the spirit and legacy of the of the many traditions throughout the Month of May and the excitement surrounding the Indianapolis 500!”
To learn more about the Education Program, visit 500Festival.com/Education.
The Indianapolis 500 & 500 Festival Education Program is supported by: Indiana University Health, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the 500 Festival Foundation, Regions Bank, NTT IndyCar Series, AAA Hoosier Motor Club, and Honda.