SRI- Supplies for Racing and Industry Equips STEM Education Program for NC 8th Graders
SRI-Supplies For Racing & Industry, LLC
801-B Performance Rd.
Mooresville, NC, 28115
Press release date: July 19, 2012
For the second straight year, the North Carolina Biotechnology Center kicks off its BioMoto Program, an education course designed to excite 8th-grade students about Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education. Fueled by product sponsors such as SRI Inc., the primary shop supplier to NASCAR teams, the long-term program begins to take shape in the summertime. Teachers (in these circumstances, they prefer to be called "coaches") from north-Charlotte area school districts begin to take some lessons from the motorsports industry, which will apply to the students from September 2012-March 2013.
An intersection of ideas allows the ideas of STEM and Human Performance to be placed into an appealing package for Junior High students- with the combination of Biotechnology and Motorsports. The goals are simple, yet appealing and fun: let the students construct simulation vehicles and tools to work on them, and then maximize the efficiency of work by enhanced physical fitness and repetitive practice. With the help from SRI, there may be future NASCAR engineers, mechanics, and pit crew members emerging out of this group of youngsters.
Coaches and directors amassed a list of necessary shop supplies for the coming months, and SRI was glad to donate a large amount of fasteners, tapes, adhesives, and safety glasses to the one-of-a-kind BioMoto program.
"SRI has been instrumental in terms of partnering with the BioMoto program. The supplies that they have afforded our students and coaches give them real-world, hands-on experience with all of the disciplines that they are learning in the classroom, in addition to all of the experiences that they have from tours and interaction with the entire motorsports community," states Corie Curtis, Executive Director of the NC Biotechnology Center Charlotte Office.
Friday, July 13th marked the beginning stages of this year's program, as the BioMoto coaches got to experience firsthand what they will introduce to the students in September. Andy Papathanassiou, Director of Human Performance at Hendrick Motorsports, challenged the coaches to perform a NASCAR-style tire change with only basic instructions given ahead of time. The participants were separated into two groups, and they naturally developed with teamwork and observation. Their performance improved greatly after the third four-minute practice session.
Papathanassiou (simply known as "Andy Papa") spoke about the subconscious improvements and role development that occurred during the practice session: "It's important to understand that innovation is built on a lot of failure. You have to fail early and fail often build on early failures to ultimately innovate to a successful process."
In preparation for the challenges that face the 8th-grade students this fall, Andy Papa left the coaches with a concept to instill in the minds of the aspiring students. "Innovation has to be a continual process, and not just one big 'Aha! Moment.' By the time you bring that 'Aha! Moment' to market, some else has probably figured it out, they're doing it better than you, and now it's back to you. What have you got that's coming next?"