Grand Prix and PNC Build on Educational Partnership
DETROIT, Mich. (May 2, 2017) – The Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear, and the PNC Foundation, have partnered for the sixth consecutive year to teach Detroit Public School Community District (DPSCD) students important STEM initiatives through racing. The pre-race activities will incorporate elements of Grow Up Great®, PNC’s early childhood education initiative, and Fifth Gear’s education program.
The program continues the partnership that began in 2012 between the Grand Prix and PNC. Both PNC Grow Up Great and Fifth Gear programs use motorsports to educate the students about math and science principles through real-world applications in motorsports. The initiative also demonstrates to the DPSCD students that they have tangible opportunities through engineering and technology-based careers.
PNC funded the program, which is under the stewardship of the Detroit Public School Community District Foundation. The students in the programs have had specific science and math curriculums built around motorsports incorporated into their classrooms, creating excitement for the return of the Grand Prix to Belle Isle Park, June 2-4.
Today, more than 450 pre-kindergarten DPSCD students were able to get a hands-on demonstration of the STEM initiatives in motorsports as a part of PNC Grow Up Great Education Day at The Palace of Auburn Hills. The students used the knowledge they learned in 10 different activity stations, including a gravity track, human powered engine, jet toys and more. IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship racers Eric Curran and Dane Cameron, who are defending Prototype class champions, former winners on Belle Isle and drivers of the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi, visited with the students and took part in the activities. Curran and Cameron will compete in next month’s Grand Prix.
“We are excited to continue this partnership between the Grand Prix and PNC to give Detroit Public Schools Community District students the opportunity to build off of the STEM initiatives they learned using hands-on activities created through motorsports,” said Bud Denker, Chairman of the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear. “This is the sixth year of our partnership with PNC and we appreciate everything they continue to do to support our event and help enrich the lives of young students.”
In addition to Tuesday’s event at the Palace, the Grand Prix, along with about 40 teamGM Cares employee volunteers, will host approximately 300 DPSCD fifth graders on June 1 during Education Day on Belle Isle leading into the race weekend. The GM employees will guide these Fifth Gear students through STEM interactive modules that demonstrate aerodynamics, gravity, friction and more.
“PNC remains committed to providing valuable educational experiences for Detroit Public Schools Community District students through its support of the Grand Prix racing education program,” said Ric DeVore, PNC regional president for Detroit and Southeast Michigan. “We’ve seen how the students embrace STEM education initiatives through motorsports activities. It’s exciting to introduce students to the possibility of careers in engineering and technology.”
PNC Grow Up Great is a $350 million, multi-year bilingual initiative created to improve early childhood education, primarily in underserved areas. PNC launched a three-year program in science and the arts for DPSCD preschool students in 2010 with a $2.1 million commitment, and extended the program for two additional years and another $950,000 in 2014.
For the second consecutive year, teamGM Cares is providing support to the PNC Grow Up Great and Fifth Gear programs centered around the Grand Prix.
“Our employees look forward to volunteering with local students, especially on STEM-related activities,” said Heidi Magyar, director of teamGM Cares activities. “We enjoy exposing students to STEM education through fun interactive activities. Spending time with students at Belle Isle is exciting, but introducing students to different career options through STEM education is even more exciting.”
ABOUT THE PNC FOUNDATION
The PNC Foundation, which receives its principal funding from The PNC Financial Services Group (www.pnc.com), actively supports organizations that provide services for the benefit of communities in which it has a significant presence. The foundation focuses its philanthropic mission on early childhood education and community and economic development, which includes the arts and culture. Through Grow Up Great, its signature cause that began in 2004, PNC has created a bilingual $350 million, multi-year initiative to help prepare children from birth to age 5 for success in school and life. For more information, visit http://www.pncgrowupgreat.com and follow PNC News on YouTube here.
THE CHEVROLET DETROIT GRAND PRIX PRESENTED BY LEAR
The Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear is a 501(c)3 organization and a subsidiary of the Downtown Detroit Partnership. Scheduled for June 2-4, 2017, the event will include the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit featuring the cars of the Verizon IndyCar Series, the Chevrolet Sports Car Classic with the exotic sports cars of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, the high-flying trucks of the SPEED Energy Stadium SUPER Trucks and the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli in the Motor City 100. Partners for the 2017 Grand Prix include General Motors, Lear Corporation and MotorCity Casino Hotel. For more information, visit www.DetroitGP.com and follow our social media pages at www.facebook.com/detroitgp, www.twitter.com/detroitgp and www.instagram.com/detroitgp.
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