May 11, 2018

Purdue activities at Indy to showcase M-STEM education, evGrand Prix events, IndyCar drivers

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — IndyCar drivers Zach Veach and Pippa Mann, who will be vying for spots in this month’s Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil, will speak at the annual M-STEM3 500 Student Fair at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Tuesday (May 15) and Wednesday (May 16).

The two-day event in the East Chalet at the race track will showcase the science, technology, engineering, the arts, and math behind motorsports and the automotive industry to Indiana middle school and high school students.

On Tuesday, Mann and her Honda Performance Development trackside engineer Hiro Yamaguchi will address middle school students about characteristics of the Honda 2.2-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine that powers Mann’s Dale Coyne Racing Indy car. Mann, an Indianapolis resident, will seek to qualify May 19-20 for her seventh Indianapolis 500.

On Wednesday, Andretti Autosport driver Veach and his Honda Performance Development trackside engineer Tasher Willett will address high school students about how STEAM curriculum aided in Veach’s development as a professional race car driver. Veach, of Stockdale, Ohio, is seeking to qualify for his second Indianapolis 500.

Both Verizon IndyCar Series drivers will conduct question-and-answer sessions with students in the East Chalet.

“We anticipate more than 1,300 high school and middle school students during these two days,” said Danny White, director of motorsports in Purdue University’s Office of Engagement. “The STEM focus of these two days, where we can showcase the science, technology, engineering, and math behind motorsports, pays huge dividends in helping students understand real-life applications. And having marquee talent from Honda’s IndyCar program really gets the students’ attention.”

Purdue Motorsports also will have its annual evGrand Prix on Tuesday and Wednesday. High school and college students will compete in self-built electric karts.

The competition pits students against each other, both on and off the track.

Students must not only build a functioning electric kart, but they must also handle sponsorship, community outreach, decal design and travel logistics, he said. The goal of the series is to have students learn and demonstrate skills used in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math).

Each race is 30 laps. The competition is scored on final race placement, design and innovation, community outreach, compliance with the rules package and energy efficiency. 

Contact: Tim Doty, 

Source: Danny White,

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