500 Festival Announces Winners of Contests and Races for the 500 Festival & Indianapolis 500 Education Program, presented by Indiana University Health 

 500 Festival Announces Winners of Contests and Races for the 500 Festival & Indianapolis 500 Education Program, presented by Indiana University Health 

INDIANAPOLIS (May 19, 2024) The 500 Festival, announces the winners of its essay contest and best classroom contest for the 2024 500 Festival and Indianapolis 500 Education Program, presented by Indiana University Health. This year, 28,256 Indiana fourth-grade students took part in the Education Program.  

The Education Program is free for Indiana fourth-grade classrooms and 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. This year, 386 registered schools brought classroom lessons to life by either hosting a Mobile Trip at their school or attending a Study Trip at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  

Essay Contest 

Kennedy J., a fourth-grade student from Irwin Elementary has been named the winner of the 2024 Education Program essay contest. Students who participated in the essay contest were prompted to discuss the impact of the Indianapolis 500 and how the race has impacted the city of Indianapolis as well as what it has taught people about perseverance, teamwork, and achieving goals.  

As the 2024 essay contest winner, Kennedy 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. Angie Murphy, teacher at Irwin Elementary, 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 Amanda M. from Arthur C. Newby Elementary and Molly W. from Irwin Elementary. Both students received a prize pack from Regions Bank and 2 tickets to the AES 500 Festival Parade. 

Best Classroom Contest 

Amy Hackett’s fourth-grade class from Indiana School for the Deaf Elementary in Indianapolis, Indiana has been named the winner of the 2024 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. Amy Hackett’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 so many unique photos and submissions for the contest this year, and all the submitted essays represented the Month of May so well. The fourth-grade classrooms went above and beyond with their creativity to showcase the spirit of 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, and Honda. 

 Soap Box Derby Mini Car Race 

The Soapbox Derby is a youth-oriented soap box car racing program that has been running in the United States since 1934. The International Soap Box Derby® is a non-profit youth education and leadership development organization whose mission is to build knowledge and character, and to create meaningful experiences through collaboration, fair and honest racing competitions, STEM curriculum, and other community-focused activities. 

There were 48 cars in the mini car race field this year. Our first-place car was from Lisa Isenbarger’s class at Brunett Creek Elementary  

 


About the 500 Festival & Indianapolis 500 Education Program, presented by Indiana University Health | This award-winning program is an engaging addition to the 4th-grade curriculum and is available to all Indiana 4th-grade classrooms. There is no cost to participate in the Education Program and lesson plans and student materials are free to schools enrolled in the program. Each participating classroom receives an Indiana standards-based curriculum, supporting materials for specific lessons, and an educational video series to complement the lessons. The lessons meet academic standards for language arts, health, math, science, social studies, visual arts, and physical education.  

About the 500 Festival | Founded in 1957, the 500 Festival is a not-for-profit organization that produces more than 50 life-enriching events and programs while celebrating the spirit and legacy of the Indianapolis 500® and fostering a positive impact on the city of Indianapolis and state of Indiana. One of the largest festivals in the nation, each year more than half a million people attend an event or program produced by the 500 Festival. Since its founding, the 500 Festival has contributed more than $500 million in economic value to Indianapolis. To learn more about the 500 Festival, please visit 500festival.com or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.