The “Science of NASCAR” is a program through “The Charlotte Teachers Institute” that provides a K-12 school teacher learning experience that brings science and the exciting world of racing together to engage school children in STEM fields.
“The Charlotte Teachers Institute focus on the academic preparation of school teachers and on their application in their own classrooms of what they study in the Institute. By linking institutions of higher education with urban or rural school districts where the students are mainly from low-income communities, Institutes strengthen teaching and learning in public schools and also benefit the institutions whose faculty members serve as seminar leaders. Each Institute also helps to disseminate this approach, encouraging and assisting other institutions and school districts as they develop similar programs in their own communities.”*
Admitted to the League in 2009, the Charlotte Teachers Institute brings the resources of Davidson College and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte to a district of 176 schools serving more than 134,000 students, of whom more than 50 percent qualify for free or reduced-price lunch. In 2011, the Charlotte Teachers Institute is working with 67 schools that span all five of the district’s geographic zones and include 16 schools that are part of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools’ Strategic Staffing Initiative. In total, these 67 schools enroll more than 59,000 students and represent a pool of 3,400 teachers who are eligible for participation in Charlotte’s seminars. Successfull completion of a seminar earns three continuing education credits.
* Borrowed from the Yale National Initiative website where the various Teachers Institutes have been founded.