Adrian College receives Consumers Energy Foundation Grant

Track and Explore program awarded $5,000 grant to support partnership with Michigan International Speedway

ADRIAN, Mich. — The Track and Explore program at Adrian College recently received a $5,000 grant from the Consumers Energy Foundation to support the college’s unique partnership with Michigan International Speedway.

The grant will support the program for middle school science trips sponsored by Track and Explore. Each field trip is tied to Michigan Department of Education Science standards and offers teachers both pre- and post- field trip lessons.

Track and Explore is an innovative collaboration between Adrian College and NASCAR venue Michigan International Speedway (MIS). The program uses 900 acres of natural area at MIS as an outdoor classroom for middle school students and as a practicum for the College’s science and education majors. Adrian College students create lessons and lead environmental-science field trips at the site. “Track and Explore is an invaluable program that provides relevant and real-world science experiences to our young regional middle school students,” said Dr. Andrea Milner, vice president and dean of academic affairs at Adrian College. “We are so deeply grateful to the Consumers Energy Foundation for its support of this wonderful program.”

In 2018, Track and Explore gave 663 students hands-on experience with microscopes and more than 1,300 students the opportunity to test the laws of physics — just two of the lessons in a Track and Explore field trip day. Middle school teachers overwhelmingly give the programs ratings of “very good” or “excellent” on their follow-up surveys, and the program has received awards from the community as well. Track and Explore was the 2014 winner of the Michigan Campus Compact Campus-Community Partnership Award, and in early 2017, co-founder Penny-Cobau-Smith received the Champion of Engagement Award from the same organization.

This program would not be possible without the generous support of the Consumers Energy Foundation and other grants received.

The mission of Track and Explore, as a nature-based educational program, is to inspire future generations of students to explore and discover the wonders that science has to offer, while maintaining a never-ending curiosity and an unwavering respect for the great outdoors, humanity, and all living things.

For more information on Track and Explore, visit

About Consumers Energy Foundation

The Consumers Energy Foundation is the charitable arm of Consumers Energy, Michigan’s largest energy provider. In 2018, the Consumers Energy Foundation, Consumers Energy and its employees and retirees contributed more than $18.5 million to Michigan nonprofits. For more information about the Consumers Energy Foundation, visit