The combination of STEM Education and motor racing equals getting students revved up for engineering and high tech futures. Some Gwinnett County Public School students of will join the thousands of students nationwide who have already experienced the Mazda Motorsports, educational initiative titled “Racing Accelerates Creative Education” (R.A.C.E). The School District says Mazda’s R.A.C.E. will make a “pit-stop” at a Lanier High School on Tuesday, September 29.
R.A.C.E. is a national touring multimedia program that uses the technology of auto racing to inspire high school students to consider the many career options in the STEM disciplines. Mazda Motorsports kicked of its program with Deland, Florida students in January of 2014. The tour continues to speed across the country today with engineering and vehicle demonstrations showcasing the many facets that science, technology, engineering and math play in the automotive industry.
The Lanier students will have an opportunity to closely examine an exotic Mazda Prototype race car. The Mazda diesel racing engine runs on sustainable, domestic diesel fuel that is refined primarily from post-consumer chicken fat and used cooking oil. The students will also get to meet headliner, Mazda factory race car driver Joel Miller, who also holds a degree in mechanical engineering. Miller and two Mazda SKYACTIV Prototype race cars will be in competition at Petit Le Mans, an endurance sports car race at Road Atlanta, September 30 – October 3. On The 29, Miller and executives from Mazda Motorsports of North America will talk to students about the ongoing value of the STEM Education fields.
Even with much attention being placed on driving students towards the importance of STEM Education choices within their curriculum, there is still a lack of new and young engineers emerging into the workforce. This problem can be seen in many industries across North America. R.A.C.E. is designed to broaden the road of educational opportunities in order to both prepare students for this new high tech economy, and provide companies with a stronger pool of potential candidates to choose from.
Early statistics in 2013 questioned the call for more STEM graduates, particularly in the IT fields, and because of the massive push by some companies to simultaneously attract foreign workers and outsource. However, new stats reveal a much higher need to encourage students to move into the STEM Education lane. According to a U.S. News World Report featuring data from Burning Glass Technologies, the demand for students trained in science, technology, engineering and math fields may be significantly larger than previous studies have estimated.
According to the 2014 report, “Nearly half of all entry-level STEM jobs required a bachelor’s degree or higher, while just 29 percent of bachelor’s degree recipients earn a degree in a STEM field.” Another way to look at the study’s numbers also found, “There were about 2.5 entry-level job postings for each new bachelor’s degree recipient in a STEM field, compared with 1.1 posting for each new four-year graduate in a non-STEM field.”
Another clear reason students may want to consider the STEM Education field is the significantly higher income earning potential. According to the 2015-2016 Pay Scale College Salary Report, STEM majors are currently, and likely to remain, the top college majors by salary.
Mazda Motorsports’ R.A.C.E initiative is set to teach Lanier High School students that the world of STEM Education is much broader than they may know, and the fields to enter are unlimited and growing. The Tuesday event begins at 9:15 a.m. and concludes at approximately 10:30 a.m. Lanier High School is located at 918 Buford Highway NE, Buford, GA 30518.