“Kindergartners start your engines!” The greatest spectacle in elementary racing is about to begin at two different TSC schools.
Students at Mayflower Mill Elementary School gather in front of the stands at the McCutcheon High School soccer field to compete in the school’s fourth annual Kindy 500. Meanwhile, students roared with excitement inside the gym for Dayton Elementary School’s inaugural event.
Dayton teacher Carolyn Howard says the event is a great way to get students to learn the history of the Indy 500: “Our hope for doing this unit was to teach students about the importance of the Indy 500 in the state of Indiana. Students also learned about force and motion and how that relates to race cars.”
At Dayton, students kicked off the event with fourth grade students singing “Back Home Again in Indiana.” The students took a parade lap around the school, went through a car wash and picked up snacks in a drive-thru before the race began. Dayton had a winner from each classroom that competed in the final race. The winner was Lucas Boyles who had a fast green car with rally stripes. He wore a wreath, drank the milk and received a trophy in victory lane.
“It was fun to see the students' personality and even family background through their cars,” says Howard. “Asher Peters had a John Deere tractor and his family are farmers. Ashlynn Cole had a mail delivery truck just like her mom’s vehicle. Other families put their family business as the sponsor on their cars. It was so fun to see all of the creative and imaginative cars.”
At Mayflower Mill, it was a relay race with five drivers circling the track as fast as their legs could move. A Festival 500 princess waved the green and checkered flags and cheered on all the races. The winning team was “Team Zoom” from Kara Bunch’s class. The students received a trophy, carton of milk and kissed a cardboard strip of bricks to mimic the tradition at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Members of the winning team say they chose red and green because they are Christmas colors and learned a lot about working together as a team. “I tried my best running to be the fastest,” says student Abigail Mowery. “I just wanted to have fun and enjoy it!”
Teammate Jayden Puckett was excited to be in the winner’s circle. “We thought it was weird to kiss the bricks and everyone shouting for us to kiss the bricks.”
The kindergarten students do a week-long unit to learn the history of the Indy 500. “We also do a unit on teamwork and how you have to work together as a team to win the race,” says Waber. “The students learn cooperation and good sportsmanship. They take pride in the whole school attending and it is a great leadership opportunity for our fifth grade students who serve as the pit crew. It is my favorite day of the year!”