Schools across Indiana to participate in 500 Festival and Indianapolis 500® Education Program April Study Trips

Schools across Indiana to participate in 500 Festival and Indianapolis 500® Education Program April Study Trips

Mon, 2012-04-02 14:14

INDIANAPOLIS (April 2, 2012) – For the ninth year, thousands of Hoosier fourth-grade students will learn about Indiana’s legendary motorsports culture through the 500 Festival and Indianapolis 500® Education Program, presented by Indiana University Health. Schools that participate in the program and will each attend one of the nine Study Trips to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway®.

The Education 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. During the course of the Study Trip, fourth-grade classrooms travel from station to station to learn more about IMS and the Indianapolis 500®. Stations include, but are not limited to, a scavenger hunt in the IMS Hall of Fame Museum, a tour of the Pagoda and Victory Podium, seeing an IndyCar up close and personal and being inside the Medical Hospital that is used throughout the month of May.

In correlation with IU Health’s presenting sponsorship of the Program, a “Health & Nutrition Station” was added this year featuring a video of IndyCar driver James Hinchcliffe teaching students what drivers do to stay fit and healthy. The Study Trip is used to not only “test” what the students learn through the in-class curriculum, but also enhance their learning experience with interactive pieces.

This year nearly 22,000 Indiana fourth graders will participate in the award-winning program, with 8,000 students attending a Study Trip. More than 178,000 students have participated since the program’s inception in 2004.

“The ultimate goal of the 500 Festival and Indianapolis 500® Education Program is to provide a fun, educational environment in which to show fourth graders the historical and social significances of the 500 Festival, Indianapolis 500® and the Indiana motorsports industry,” said Kirk Hendrix, President and CEO of the 500 Festival. “Within the framework of Indiana Academic Standards, we hope to encourage the next generation of race fans to be part of this remarkable culture.”


The Education Program is offered to only the fourth-grade because the program is designed to coincide with the fourth-grade focus on Indiana state history.


2012 by the numbers:    


Schools enrolled: 320 with 859 classrooms

Number of students participating: 21,613

Number of Indiana counties participating: 81 of 92

Number of Study Trips to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway®: 9

The 500 Festival and Indianapolis 500® Education Program 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®.

To see a full list of participating schools, please click here.  

The mission of the 500 Festival is to advocate and celebrate the spirit, heritage and legacy of the Indianapolis 500®. Through social, cultural and educational events and programs, the 500 Festival enhances the quality of life for all citizens of our communities.

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 55 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.



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