Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix Provides Professional Development Series for DPS Teachers

In the weeks leading up to the Grand Prix, June 1-3 on Belle Isle, participating DPS classes are incorporating motorsports education programs into their curriculum

The Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix is partnering with PNC Bank to host a professional development series for DPS teachers.

Approximately 40 DPS teachers participated in Professional Development programs on May 14 and May 17 at the Detroit Children’s Museum.

Teachers were trained on the onsite Grand Prix activities and logistics that will take place at PNC Bank Free Prix Day at the Grand Prix on Friday, June 1, where DPS students will use the Raceway at Belle Isle Park street circuit to apply their learning to the fast-paced world of racing.

During the training, teachers were also provided with parent and educator guides and supplies for pre-race educational activities.

Two mathematics and science programs are being incorporated in DPS classrooms centered on racing to support an innovative math and science curriculum.

The first program, called Fifth Gear, combines a mathematics and science curriculum to generate excitement among DPS fifth graders for careers in science, technology, engineering and math through real-world application in motorsports.

PNC is also working with race organizers to incorporate materials from the bank’s philanthropic program, Grow Up Great, a multi-year, $350 million initiative designed to improve early childhood education, particularly in underserved areas.

PNC Grow Up Great now reaches eight Detroit Public Schools and serves more than 200 pre-K students.

In addition to the Fifth Gear students, children involved in the Grow Up Great program will also participate in age-appropriate, structured race-themed activities at PNC Free Prix Day.

Helping to create the next generation of racing fans, the students will experience the excitement of world-class auto racing in the Motor City first hand as they watch all of the on-track action that day from the grandstands.

Students will also work with actual race teams and engineers competing in the Grand Prix and representatives from Plymouth-based Ilmor Engineering to experience hands-on activities that will build on what they’ve learned in their classrooms.

In all, over 600 DPS students are expected to visit Belle Isle on June 1.


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