BROOKLYN, MIch. – In the year since the partnership with the Michigan International Speedway and Adrian College began, they have developed and implemented a successful field trip program for middle school students.
The partnership and program is called Track and Explore and has aided Adrian College’s biology and teacher education students with opportunities for research. The opportunity also extends their outreach to a younger generation to help teach them about animal and plant life.
“This exciting partnership has exceeded our expectations,” said Dr. Agnes Caldwell, Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs at Adrian College.
The Track and Explore program initially started in the fall of 2012, and has since created the opportunity for over 1,200 middle school students to learn about the ecosystem of the Irish Hills area. Adrian College teacher education students help them identify plants and animals in the area and learn the science of water and about the MIS racetrack.
Adrian College biology students have used the partnership to find and photograph samples, and joined with art majors at the College to create and develop displays for the MIS offices. Some of the research at the speedway is being presented on campus, at international conferences and in publications.
The program is limitless and unique. “We are the only ones, that we know of, who connect sports entertainment with stem initiatives,” Dr. Caldwell said.
Track and Explore was recently heralded by Adrian College’s President Jeffrey R. Docking at the annual State of the College address and has received much attention in the surrounding area.
The success of the ongoing partnership positively impacts the environment and benefits science, math and technology education through serving the children of Lenawee County.
“Our group has worked hard to give students a fun and educational experience at MIS,” said Janna D’Amico, Director of the Office of Career Planning. “We are thrilled to assist over 1,200 students who will be participating in the program this May.”
Photo Credit: Brad Kuhbander