DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — From the varying angles of track banking to the impact of drag on a race car’s speed, NASCAR is helping Boys & Girls Clubs of America youth across the country explore STEM applications through the lens of stock car racing on MyFuture, the organization’s digital learning platform.
Over the course of the 2022 season, NASCAR has launched a series of racing-themed, digital experiences as part of its educational programming on MyFuture, which is available to more than 4.6 million Boys & Girls Clubs youth and teens nationwide. The interactive content features lessons and activities on race track design, live race broadcasts, the “3 D’s of Speed” (Drafting, Downforce & Drag), as well as a multi-part video series on NASCAR pit crew training exercises.
Boys & Girls Clubs members earn “badges” on MyFuture by engaging with the content and completing related challenges or activities, which range from designing their own race tracks to demonstrating the aerodynamic principle of downforce with a simple sheet of paper.
“In NASCAR, there are elements of STEM at work constantly across many facets of our sport and that’s especially true on race day,” said Eric Nyquist, Chief Communications and Social Responsibility Officer, NASCAR. “We’re proud to engage Club kids with NASCAR content that is both fun and educational, and that drives a key area of focus for our important partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America.”
“To help youth meet the workforce challenges of tomorrow, we believe in offering kids and teens first-hand exposure to real-life, work experiences and trainings that allow them to explore their interests and passions,” explained Jim Clark, President and CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of America. “But we also know that an important part of career exploration is having fun! Through these virtual and in-person engagements, our partnership with NASCAR is opening up a world of possibilities to kids and teens around the country.”
Each of the core NASCAR activities on MyFuture includes video content, developed by NASCAR Studios, that demonstrates the subject or topic. The educational videos are hosted by NASCAR driver and on-air talent Mamba Smith and feature other drivers, crew members and members of the NASCAR industry.
Driver Rajah Caruth, who earlier this season made his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut at Richmond Raceway, joins Smith to help explain the “3 D’s of Speed” and their impact on cars during a race, while industry pit crew coach Rocko Williams and crew members from Trackhouse Racing Team provide Boys & Girls Club kids with a video tutorial on what it takes to train like a professional pit crew member.
In another video, Smith goes behind the scenes with FOX Sports’ NASCAR team at Atlanta Motor Speedway to explore all that goes into producing a live race and delivering on-track excitement to millions of fans around the world. After viewing the content on MyFuture, kids are challenged with filming their own foot races with smartphones and incorporating similar broadcast elements such as post-race analysis and interviews.
In addition to the NASCAR content, MyFuture features more than 500 self-directed activities for youth across the country. The digital platform was created to encourage young people to learn new skills, earn career certifications, explore different interests, share creative projects and participate in events and contests without constraints. Kids and teens can earn recognition for their work while keeping track of their progress and journey on a learning pathway toward mastering new skills.
NASCAR’s digital integration with MyFuture represents an integral part of its work with Boys & Girls Clubs of America, the Official Youth Community Partner of NASCAR, by allowing youth across the nation to learn and engage with the racing-themed, STEM learning modules without geographical or economic barriers. The nationwide partnership launched in 2021 and focuses on three core areas — STEM education, career development and DE&I initiatives — and features both virtual and at-track experiences in NASCAR race markets.
On Sunday, NASCAR will host 20 teenagers from the Hank Kline Boys & Girls Club in Miami at Homestead-Miami Speedway as part of a year-round, at-track engagement program. The NASCAR Cup Series race-day experiences, which will continue throughout the 2023 race season, are designed to showcase the breadth and scope of career opportunities available in the NASCAR industry to Club teens who will soon be entering the workforce.
Boys & Girls Clubs of America provides high-quality programming that helps level the playing field and provide opportunities to young people that will support them in building the skills needed to become the leaders, innovators and problem-solvers who will shape the world tomorrow.
To learn more about Boys & Girls Clubs of America, this partnership and support its mission, visit BGCA.org.