NASCAR Chicago Street Race Hosts Nearly 500 Students in Partnership with Chicago Public Schools for Inaugural STEAM Fest at Field Museum
NASCAR Cup Series’ Daniel Suarez and NASCAR Industry Engineers Participate in Final Round of Student Design Competition
CHICAGO – NASCAR, the Chicago Street Race, and Chicago Public Schools (CPS) hosted nearly 500 Chicago-area students on Tuesday for the first-ever STEAM Fest at the Field Museum. Following a two-month, in-school design competition, finalists from each grade level were invited to the Field Museum to participate in a championship round with help from NASCAR Cup Series driver Daniel Suárez and a team of STEM professionals from the NASCAR industry.
Student finalists were challenged with building and testing safety barriers like those NASCAR will install along its 2.2-mile downtown Chicago course this summer. The winning groups from each grade level were recognized during an awards ceremony and received complimentary tickets to the NASCAR Chicago Street Race Weekend on July 1-2.
“NASCAR races are a living, breathing physics lab, and today is all about being able to make that connection for students in our very own community,” said Julie Giese, Chicago Street Race President. “As a part of our long-term commitment to Chicago, STEAM Fest is just the beginning of a continuing academic partnership between NASCAR and Chicago Public Schools, as we look to grow the next generation of motorsports engineers right here in this city.”
CPS and NASCAR are also working together to develop new STEM curriculum for eighth-grade students exploring fundamental science and engineering concepts within the sport. The NASCAR-themed curriculum, designed to address Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) Performance Expectations, will be finalized and introduced in middle schools during the 2023-2024 school year.
“Exposing our students to opportunities for hands-on learning in STEM and STEAM allows them to make the connection between the classroom and the world outside of their school,” said CPS CEO Pedro Martinez. “Our partnership with NASCAR allows our students to showcase their incredible design and engineering skills while connecting with professionals who will help expand their vision of career opportunities in STEM. We want every child in every neighborhood to know that with focus and hard work, they can make their dreams a reality.”
Beginning in March, 22,000 CPS students from more than 40 STEM and STEAM schools began to compete in an in-classroom design challenge focused on driver helmets and culminating with the first-ever STEAM Fest. The initial partnership was announced by CPS and Chicago Street Race officials at the Field Museum on February 21 with the help of 2023 DAYTONA 500 champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr., fresh off the driver’s victory at Daytona International Speedway.
Suárez, who last season became the first Mexican driver to win a NASCAR Cup Series race, was joined on Tuesday by engineers and staff from his Trackhouse Racing team as the team engaged and encouraged CPS students during the competition.
“As someone who grew up in Mexico, it’s very important to me to introduce motorsports to young individuals from diverse backgrounds who may not have grown up around racing,” said Suárez. “But these students have clearly demonstrated an appreciation and understanding of all the complexities that go into the sport, and I am confident that the future of race engineering is in great hands with these brilliant young minds.”
Chicago Street Race
As part of NASCAR’s 75th anniversary season, the first-ever Chicago Street Race Weekend will feature the NASCAR Cup Series’ Grant Park 220 and NASCAR Xfinity Series’ The Loop 121 competing on a 12-turn, 2.2-mile street course, along with full-length concerts by The Chainsmokers and Miranda Lambert with the support of The Black Crowes and Charley Crockett over Fourth of July Weekend on July 1-2.
General admission and reserved tickets are on sale for the Chicago Street Race. Two-day general admission ticket start at $269 and reserved tickets that offer an array of opportunities including reserved seating and a wide variety of premium experiences start at $465. To purchase tickets, fans can log onto NASCARChicago.com or call 1-888-629-7223.
The Grant Park 220 will be nationally broadcast on NBC on Sunday, July 2 at 5:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. CT and The Loop 121 will be broadcast nationally on USA Network at 5:00 p.m. ET/4:00 p.m. CT.
To stay up to date with the Chicago Street Race, fans can subscribe to receive exclusive Chicago Street Race emails, follow @NASCARChicago on Twitter and Facebook and download the NASCAR Tracks App for the latest real-time updates on all aspects of the event.
About Chicago Street Race
The Chicago Street Race is the first-ever NASCAR Cup Series street race. Located in downtown Chicago, the event will take competitors past and through many of the city’s most renowned downtown landmarks on Michigan Avenue, South Columbus Drive, South Lake Shore Drive and the start-finish line near Buckingham Fountain. The Cup Series will be joined by the NASCAR Xfinity Series as part of a one-of-a-kind sports and entertainment festival headlined by Miranda Lambert, The Chainsmokers, Charley Crockett, and The Black Crowes over the Fourth of July Weekend on July 1-2, 2023. For more information, visit NASCARChicago.com.
Celebrating its 75th Anniversary in 2023, the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) is the sanctioning body for the No. 1 form of motorsports in the United States and owner of 16 of the nation’s major motorsports entertainment facilities. NASCAR sanctions races in three national series (NASCAR Cup Series™, NASCAR Xfinity Series™, and NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series™), four international series (NASCAR Brasil Sprint Race, NASCAR Mexico Series, NASCAR Pinty’s Series (Canada), NASCAR Whelen Euro Series), four regional series (ARCA Menards Series, ARCA Menards Series East & West and the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour) and a local grassroots series (NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series). The International Motor Sports Association™ (IMSA®) governs the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship™, the premier U.S. sports car series. NASCAR also owns Motor Racing Network, Racing Electronics, and ONE DAYTONA. Based in Daytona Beach, Florida, with offices in eight cities across North America, NASCAR sanctions more than 1,200 races annually in 12 countries and more than 30 U.S. states. For more information visit www.NASCAR.com and www.
About Chicago Public Schools (CPS)
Chicago Public Schools (CPS) is dedicated to providing a high-quality education to all students, beginning with the District’s free full-day preschool programming for four-year-old scholars and continuing through neighborhood, magnet and selective-enrollment elementary schools that provide a rigorous K-8 education with schools that specialize in the fine arts, world language and culture, dual language, STEM, International Baccalaureate (IB), classical programs, and more. The rising District-wide freshmen-on-track and high school graduation rates reflect the hard work of the CPS community, including families, staff, and students across 635 schools. CPS celebrates the diversity of its more than 322,000 students who cite 182 home languages. Learn more about CPS at www.cps.edu and connect with CPS on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.