Four undergraduate college students from across the country were awarded a total of $20,000 in scholarships and treated to a VIP experience at today’s AAA Texas 500, including a tour of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage, pace car rides and meet-and-greets with Team Chevy drivers and Chevrolet NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Program Manager, Alba Colon.
Last month, NASCAR and Chevrolet challenged college students to identify a specific technology within the sport and explain how STEM professionals came to its design in 90-second videos. Student videos were submitted online and judged on technical accuracy, creativity and production value.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University student Maria Kaselow Salas earned first place and a $10,000 scholarship by illustrating the physics behind track banking in her video demonstration at a local skateboard park.
"I’m so thankful for Chevrolet and NASCAR for this opportunity and for inspiring students like me to continue to pursue their dreams," said Salas, a senior aviation business administration major. "I’ve really enjoyed my experience at the track, and learning more about the science behind NASCAR."
Utah State University sophomore Allan Blad took second place and won a $5,000 scholarship for his video about NASCAR’s eco-friendly, track-drying technology, the Air Titan 2.0.
Vishnu Rachakonda, a biomedical engineering student at the University of Pennsylvania, and Jonathan Gwinn, who studies mechanical engineering at the University of Texas at San Antonio, finished in third and fourth place, respectively, earning $2,500 scholarships.
"Congratulations to these special winners and to all the students that participated in this unique challenge," said Colon. "It is an honor for Chevrolet to be involved in this important program; not only with NASCAR, but with our future generation in their pursuit of STEM-related careers. They are not only a vital part in the ongoing development of our sport, but also in their contribution to the future of this country."
"Supporting talented students who are interested in careers in STEM is essential for the growth of our sport and industry," said Jim Cassidy, NASCAR senior vice president of racing operations. "Partnering with Chevrolet to present scholarships gives both companies an opportunity to recognize and applaud these future leaders and innovators."
Before taking in the AAA Texas 500, the scholarship recipients also met with Richard Childress Racing driver Ryan Newman, who graduated from Purdue University with an engineering degree.
With this scholarship initiative, NASCAR and Chevrolet continue their longstanding commitment to STEM education and promoting opportunities for students to pursue STEM-related careers.
For more information about NASCAR’s diversity initiatives, please visit http://nascardiversity.com.