August 22, 2012
INDIANAPOLIS (August 22, 2012) – Indiana’s fourth grade students will once again be able to learn more about the 500 Festival and the Indianapolis 500’s® place and importance in Indiana’s rich culture as the 500 Festival and Indianapolis 500® Education Program, presented by Indiana University Health, gears up for its 10th year. More than 176,000 students have participated in the program since its inception in 2004.
The 500 Festival and Indianapolis 500® Education Program strives to educate and foster creativity in Hoosier fourth-grade students by using the historical, social and economic significances of the 500 Festival, Indianapolis 500® and the thriving motorsports industry of Indiana in the curriculum. This program is packed with information including an Indiana Academic Standard based curriculum, teacher materials, a video and the unique opportunity for an educational Study Trip to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway® in April or May. Students will receive a study book and additional reading materials. This program is free to all schools in the state of Indiana and only offered to students in the fourth grade as this is the year students learn about Indiana history.. Schools must be registered for the program to be eligible for the Study Trip to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway®; not all schools are required to attend the Study Trip and further registration is required. Schools participating in the Study Trip are eligible for a stipend to offset travel costs.
During the Study Trip, students apply lessons learned in the classroom with on-site programming and experiences designed to further educate them on the significance of the 500 Festival and Indianapolis 500’s® heritage and place in Indiana’s history. In 2012, a “Health & Nutrition Station” was added and students participated in an activity with IndyCar driver and 2011 Rookie of the Year, James Hinchcliffe. Students learned what drivers do to stay fit and healthy and station leaders addressed what fourth grade students can do to be “race ready.”
2012 Participation Numbers:
320 Schools Registered
81 Indiana Counties represented (88%)
The 500 Festival and Indianapolis 500® Education Program, presented by Indiana University Health, is sponsored by the 500 Festival, 500 Festival Foundation, Indianapolis Motor Speedway®, Indiana University Health, Methodist Health Foundation, AAA Hoosier Motor Club, American Dairy Association of Indiana, Inc., BKD, LLP and the IZOD IndyCar Series®
Deadline for educators to enroll their fourth-grade classrooms in the program is November 30, 2012. Registration is available online at www.500festival.com. For more information, call (317) 614-6129.
The mission of the 500 Festival is to produce events and programs that celebrate the success of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race and enhance the quality of life for the citizens of Indiana and their guests. These events and programs, produced largely by volunteers, enhance the image of our city and state by showcasing our cultural, educational and social benefits to the world.
The 500 Festival, a not-for-profit volunteer organization, was created in 1957 to organize civic events celebrating the greatest race in the world. Over the past 56 years, the 500 Festival has grown to become one of the largest festivals in the nation.
Last year, more than 500,000 Hoosiers and visitors participated in nearly 50 events and programs throughout the month of May. Whether they were athletes running the Mini-Marathon, fourth grade students participating in the Education Program, families enjoying the state’s largest festival for kids or spectators being dazzled by one of the nation’s premier parades, they were there, celebrating the legacy.