Acura STEAM Connections Tour visits state-of-the-art CU-ICAR campus
Acura Team Penske race car driver, Honda Performance Development engineer are presenters
GREENVILLE – Acura Team Penske driver Dane Cameron, Honda Performance Development engineer Eric Hsu and Michelin North America Motorsports Technical Director Ken Payne will be the featured presenters Tuesday, Oct. 9, during the Acura STEAM Connections Tour event at the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR) in Greenville.
The 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. event at the Campbell Graduate Engineering Center at CU-ICAR will showcase the science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) behind the Acura sports car racing program and the automotive industry to more than 200 area middle school students.
Displays during group tours will include Cameron’s No. 6 Acura ARX-05 Daytona prototype and transporter; the No. 93 Acura NSX GT3 race car and Meyer Shank Racing w/Curb-Agajanian transporter; Clemson Formula SAE and Formula Baja race cars; and the university’s Deep Orange 9 student prototype vehicle sponsored by Honda R&D Americas Inc. Clemson’s Deep Orange 9 program director and Kulwicki Endowed Professor in Motor Sports Engineering Rob Prucka also will address the students.
The Acura STEAM Connections Tour event will feature Cameron, Hsu and Payne discussing how STEAM is incorporated in all aspects of motorsports and conducting a Q&A with students at 12:30 p.m. in the AT&T Auditorium of the Campbell Graduate Engineering Center.
Cameron, the 2016 IMSA WeatherTech Championship Prototype champion, will co-drive the No. 6 Acura this weekend in the Motul Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta with two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya and 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series champion Simon Pagenaud. The No. 6 entry has recorded three podium finishes in the Prototype division this season.
“Motorsports – particularly the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship – provide a great example of fun, real-life applications of STEAM education. From car design to race setups to in-race strategy, all aspects of motorsports draw from these areas of science, technology, engineering, arts and math. Simply put, we could not function without engineers and personnel that have this background. While there are other jobs that utilize this type of learning, none will give you the competitive feeling of motorsports.”
“Motorsports are part of the DNA of Honda, and to succeed in motorsports you need talented, hard-working staff trained in the STEM disciplines,” said T.E. McHale, manager of motorsports communications for American Honda Motorsports. “We realize that in order to compete and win at the highest levels of the sport, we must encourage and develop the next generation of engineers and support personnel. This program begins to reach out to those whom we seek to engage with Honda in the future.”
The Acura and Honda STEAM Connections Tour of universities across the nation, in its third year, is organized and managed by STEAM Sports Group.
Honda Performance Development
Founded in 1993, HPD designs and develops racing engines and chassis performance parts for a variety of motorsports applications. HPD also provides factory support and parts for grassroots racers, helping power their racing dreams. HPD, which is marking its 25th anniversary in top-level North American motorsports, last month earned the Manufacturer Championship in the Verizon IndyCar Series. A Honda 2.2-liter, twin-turbocharged, direct-injected V6 Honda engine propelled Scott Dixon to the driver championship for entrant Chip Ganassi Racing.
STEAM Sports Group
A marketing and special events firm that focuses on how to integrate corporate STEM and STEAM initiatives (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) with sporting events, leagues, conferences, governing associations and athletes. STEAM Sports Foundation is SSG’s ancillary 501c3 that seeks funding primarily for educational programs, curricula and scholarships in an effort to unite business, education and sports. Recognizing workforce and economic development as an integral part of corporate growth, SSG and SSF work with companies, educators and sports groups to develop initiatives around science, technology, engineering, arts and math that prepare and excite America’s youth to create tomorrow’s vibrant workforce.
Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research
The Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR) is a 250-acre advanced-technology research campus where university, industry and government organizations collaborate. CU-ICAR offers masters and Ph.D. programs in automotive engineering and is conducting leading-edge translational research in critical areas, such as advanced product-development strategies, sustainable mobility, intelligent manufacturing systems and advanced materials. CU-ICAR has industrial-scale laboratories and testing equipment in world-class facilities available for commercial use.