Topic: Teachers College

April 6, 2007

While untold masses watch the excitement and drama unfold from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on national television each year, many of them schoolchildren, only a relative handful have ever visited the hallowed circuit.

Thanks to Ball State, Best Buy Children's Foundation and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, millions of the country's school kids will have the chance to race around the Brickyard – virtually, that is – on April 17. The Electronic Field Trip (EFT) will showcase the science and engineering that goes into racing and give students an opportunity to experience much of the activity that surrounds a day at the races.

"Going, Going, Faster; The Science of Speed," is an interactive 60-minute broadcast allowing students to explore Sir Isaac Newton's First Law of Motion (which states an object usually stays in motion with the same speed unless acted upon by an unbalanced force) through a series of demonstrations given by members of NASCAR's Haas CNC Racing, which is sponsored by Best Buy. Also participating will be IndyCar's Andretti Green Racing team and other experts.

"I can't think of a better venue to get students excited about science and to help explain the laws of motion than the Indianapolis Motor Speedway," said Ball State President Jo Ann M. Gora. "Ball State's EFT program gives millions of students a unique learning opportunity without ever leaving the classroom through the use of interactive technology. That's what I call redefining education."

Scott Goodyear, racing commentator for ABC Sports and ESPN and former IRL driver, will host the event while NASCAR driver Jeff Green will make a special guest appearance. Students from Raymond Park Middle School and Frank Wheeler Elementary in Indianapolis and Laurens Middle School in Laurens, S.C., will also be on site at the world-famous Brickyard to help with the EFT.

In addition to following Indy and NASCAR drivers around the track, students will watch demonstrations that show how race cars gain speed and turn corners employing the scientific principles of inertia, friction and down force.

Many local PBS stations will air the broadcast live, but classrooms can also access the broadcast, as well as archived shows, on Ball State's EFT Web site and on Apple's Learning Interchange Web site