Four Students Win $20,000 in Total Scholarships; Treated to VIP Race Experience at the AAA Texas 500
NASCAR and Chevrolet today announced the winners of the second annual NASCAR Chevrolet Diversity Scholarship Contest during a press conference at Texas Motor Speedway.
Four undergraduate students from across the country were awarded a total of $20,000 in scholarships and treated to a VIP experience at yesterday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, the AAA Texas 500.
The contest challenged students to identify a technology or innovation within NASCAR, then explain how STEM professionals came to its design in 90-second videos. Video submissions were judged on technical accuracy, creativity and production quality.
Rachael Frost, a mechanical engineering student at James Madison University, earned first place and a $10,000 scholarship by explaining the physics of drafting in her video submission.
University of Houston student Nicole Dequina won $5,000 for her video on the innovations of Safer Barrier walls. Florida A&M University student Michael Sanchez and Brigham Young University student Joy Kaseke took third and fourth place, respectively, earning $2,500 scholarships each.
“Together with Chevrolet, we’re proud to support great talent and recognize these students with a unique, behind-the-scenes NASCAR experience,” said Jim Cassidy, NASCAR senior vice president of racing operations. “We received several impressive submissions and we’re thrilled to see so many students interested in the science and technology behind the sport.”
Through this initiative, NASCAR and Chevrolet continue their longstanding commitment to Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) education and promoting opportunities for college students pursuing technology related careers.
“There’s never been a more exciting time to be in the STEM field,” said Ken Barrett, chief diversity officer for General Motors. “At GM, we know diversity is our strength, and having diverse talent in the STEM pipeline keeps both the automotive and racing industries on the cutting edge of innovation.”
Before taking in the AAA Texas 500, the students had the chance to meet with Hendrick Motorsports driver Chase Elliott and Richard Childress Racing driver Ryan Newman, who graduated from Purdue University with an engineering degree. The VIP experience also included pace car rides, garage and pit road tour, and a meet-and-greet with Chevrolet’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Program Manager Alba Colon.