Our First School Visit – July 17, 2018
On a very warm Tuesday morning in July, we loaded up our race car. We weren’t going to the track, but we were about to have a lot of fun at Cadence Academy in Frisco, TX. When Christi arrived and unloaded the car, she had at least 50 excited kids waiting for her.
The kids were divided up into two groups to make it easier to check everything out—Christi spent about 20 minutes talking about racing safety, the benefits of being good at math and engineering when you drive a race car and how it impacts setting up a car for the driver, what safety gear a race car driver wears (and she demonstrated putting everything on). The kids asked lots of questions—they wanted to know how many times we’ve won a race, how fast we’ve driven, how many famous race car drivers we’ve met or know, and more.
Then they got to take turns to sit in the Classic BMW built Spec E46 and hold our first trophy. They got to see the roll cage, the engine bay, the sticky tires, and Christi fired up the car, so they could hear one of the best noises in the world.
Here’s what we learned—we want to do this for more schools and students. It would be tough to figure out who had more fun, the kids or Christi. We also happen to think it might be useful to kids in both middle school and high school for a few reasons.
First, we can show real world application of physics, geometry, and other STEM subjects in a way that’s not boring. Second, we get to have the safety talk with young drivers—no texting while driving, don’t race on the street when there are so many options to race cars safely on a track, everything that goes into making racing a safer sport, and more. Finally, we get to show kids possibility—that women can race right alongside men, that if they show interest in cars there are ways to turn it into a great hobby or maybe even a career, and there is so much more to racing than NASCAR (not that we don’t appreciate NASCAR, but we like turning left AND right every race).
We do NOT charge for these appearances—we believe that it’s our responsibility to help educators get kids excited about math and science. We want kids to take driving seriously and reduce the distractions when they are behind the wheel. And if a few kids get interested in racing because they got to see the real thing up close, that would be cool, too.
For all the dreamers, we believe in you.