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MAZDA KICKS OFF NATIONAL EDUCATION PROGRAM TO REV UP THE INTELLECTUAL ENGINES OF FUTURE S.T.E.M. THOUGHT LEADERS AND AUTO ENTHUSIASTS

Students in DeLand, Florida, will be first to experience Mazda's R.A.C.E. Program

Jan 13, 2014

DELAND, Fla., Jan. 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Mazda today announced the introduction of its new Racing Accelerates Creative Education (R.A.C.E.) program. This national program, designed to motivate and engage the next generation of STEM superstars, launches on Wednesday, January 15, 2014, in DeLand, Florida. 

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20131205/MM28870LOGO)  

The engineering based automotive company developed the R.A.C.E. educational program to demonstrate real-world, exciting science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) applications in the many facets of the automotive industry.  The turn-key, interactive learning forum, designed for middle and high school students, debuts to more than 600 students at DeLand High School in DeLand, FL.  This debut is just 10 days before the world famous Rolex 24 at Daytona endurance race, 25 minutes away from the school.

The company's racing arm, Mazda Motorsports, is taking the lead with the R.A.C.E. program.  The goal is to reach at least a dozen schools across North America, as the Motorsports team travels to events on the 2014 race circuit.  As a part of its curriculum, Mazda will make the following teaching aids available to schools:

  • Mazda's TUDOR United SportsCar Championship SKYACTIV-D Clean Diesel Prototype show car;
  • A powerful, fully illustrated presentation that shows the importance of each one of the disciplines of science, technology, engineering and math and the role that they play in motorsports;
  • Select professional race drivers and engineers from Mazda Motorsports on hand to provide real life examples of what it takes to race at the highest level of the sport; and
  • A Mazda racing transporter similar to the kind used to haul its racecars and serve as the race team's operations center during races.

"DeLand High School is absolutely thrilled and honored to be chosen by Mazda Motorsports to host their cutting edge presentation and learning experience connected to the exciting world of the Rolex 24 Hour Race," said Mitch Moyer, Principal of DeLand High School.   "Anytime motorsports can be linked to science, technology, engineering and mathematics, it proves to be an attention getting combination."

John Doonan, Director, Mazda Motorsports, added,  "We are convinced that our R.A.C.E. program will demonstrate to students in an interesting, fun and engaging way how science, technology, engineering and mathematics are central to the success of Mazda on the race track and in the marketplace. Our goal is to show students just one example of how exciting problem solving can be in the STEM arena and motivate them to always be curious and open to the possibilities."

Mazda is focusing on middle school and high school students for their R.A.C.E. program as they are armed with enough learning to be able to explore the STEM potential around them.  Cars are the most technologically sophisticated products owned by the average consumer and there are numerous applications within the STEM arena.  According to a new study by the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) in Ann Arbor, MI, the integration of technology into the motor vehicle is creating an unprecedented demand for workers with high-tech skills, making this one of the most exciting industries in which to be employed.

To that end, Amy Monahan, teacher on assignment for STEM, Volusia County Schools, said, "STEM in Volusia County is about opportunities for students to spark their imagination and drive to learn and do more.  Mazda Motorsports provides that opportunity so students can learn about and create their career paths.  To experience what racing truly is from a STEM perspective, the R.A.C.E. program helps students understand the many choices they have for a solid future."

Mazda North American Operations is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., and oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States and Mexico through more than 700 dealers. Operations in Mexico are managed by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City.

SOURCE Mazda North American Operations

For further information: Jay Amestoy, Mazda North American Operations, 949-466-0928 (mobile) | Tamara Mlynarczyk, Mazda North American Operations, 202-431-6325 (mobile) | Nancy Wait, Volusia County Schools PIO, 386-822-2417 (mobile)

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