IRL: Panther Education Center formed

Team Forms Panther Education Center; Plans 2007 Launch Partnership with Decatur Township Schools Powers Motorsports Learning Center INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (May 26, 2006) -- Officials at Panther Racing announced Saturday plans to create the Panther...

Team Forms Panther Education Center; Plans 2007 Launch

Partnership with Decatur Township Schools Powers Motorsports Learning Center

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (May 26, 2006) -- Officials at Panther Racing announced Saturday plans to create the Panther Education Center, a motorsports-themed experiential learning facility. The team has partnered with Decatur Township Schools and school Supt. Don Stinson on the education center project, and has targeted the fall of 2007 for a full-scale launch.

"The Panther Education Center is going to have a major impact on students, future race fans and the State of Indiana," Panther co-owner John Barnes said. "This is a dream that we've had for almost a year now, and when Decatur Townships Schools and Superintendent Don Stinson came on board, I knew we were going to make it happen."

The P.E.C. will feature a complete interactive motorsports experience for visiting students. The program will feature a four-part "Race to Victory Lane" Curriculum, which will cover some of the key components of a real motorsports franchise: Logistics and Financial Planning; Engineering; Mechanics; Journalism/Media Relations and the race day activities. The experience will culminate in a race simulation, where students can learn from the different engineering and car setup choices they made during the day.

Stinson, who was named Superintendent of the Year in the State of Indiana in 2005 and was in competition for the same award nationally, oversaw the selection of two local educators, Jon Temple and Sue Keene, to write the curriculum for the program. The two educators will work from Panther Racing's Indianapolis-based workshop and travel with the team to select races for the remainder of the 2006 season.

Panther's shop is located in Decatur Township.

"In the education world, we need to move from an industrial aged world to a information age model of learning," Stinson said. "This includes moving from the chalk-and-talk approach to hands-on experiential mode of learning. For this century we must include the Three 'R's': Rigor, Relevance, and Relationships.

"The Panther Education Center will provide a link for our children today to be successful in our world," Stinson concluded.

Panther Special Projects Director Jane Barnes has been working directly with Motorsports Advisor Brad Stout on the project.

"We want to inspire kids to learn, help them with the career path to get the education required to work in our field someday," Jane Barnes explained. "We think this program will help raise awareness and educate students about the importance of motorsports in Indiana, while helping to re-establish Indianapolis as the 'Racing Capital of the World'"

The team has targeted the fall of 2007 for the official full-scale launch of the P.E.C., with curriculum testing to begin early next year.

-pr

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Brad Stout , John Barnes
Teams Panther Racing