INDIANAPOLIS, Sept. 3, 2013 — Crowds will gather at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) next Sunday. Professional race car drivers will rev the engines of high-performance sports cars. The words of Michael Young, an INDY Car Racing announcer, will ripple through the air.
But a race this is not. Rather, the event stands to be one of the nation’s largest celebrations of science’s impact on improving everyday life and a recruiting call for young people to join the excitement and enter careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics –– the “STEM” fields. It is the annual Celebrate Science Indiana (CSI) science fair, a collaboration this year between CSI and the Indiana Local Section of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world’s largest scientific society.
The event coincides with the ACS’ 246th National Meeting & Exposition, which will be held Sept. 8-12 in the Indiana Convention Center and downtown hotels. Thousands of scientists are expected for the meeting, which features almost 7,000 reports on new discoveries in science and other topics.
This year, there will be two 2013 CSI events. The main event will be in Indianapolis at the IMS, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., on Sunday, Sept. 8. An inaugural satellite event will be held in Fort Wayne, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., on Saturday, Sept. 7, at the Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, Walb Union.
“Celebrate Science Indiana is a public event that demonstrates the importance of studying science and the joy of discovery, the economic value of science and its significance to society,” said Executive Director Robert Yost.
Open without charge for admission and parking to people of all ages, CSI’s Sunday agenda will feature dozens of interactive events and activities. Prominent participants at the event include local and national science-based industries and businesses, federal agencies, educational institutions, and public institutions that have a major emphasis on science or science education, such as the Indiana State Museum and the Indianapolis Children’s Museum. David Liang, gold-medal winner of the Chemistry Olympiad, will be one of the featured guests.
Attendees will be able to take a free test drive in a race car simulator, participate in a raffle, visit numerous booths and enjoy science-themed face-painting for free. Interactive science exhibits will also be a highlight of the program. Food will be available throughout the day.
Attendees over 18 with proper ID will have two opportunities to experience track rides. One is a track lap in an INDY 500 event car on the oval track with a professional race car driver. The other is a hot lap on the north section of the Formula 1 Road Course in a high-performance sports car driven by a professional race car driver. Tickets for both events are available at speedway events or at www.acsindy.com.
The ACS Indiana Local Section is sponsoring the raffle (Indiana Gaming Commission Raffle No. 131529), with all of the proceeds going to the ACS Scholars Program. The program awards scholarships to students from underrepresented minority groups who plan to pursue careers in chemistry or related fields. Prizes include two suite tickets to the 2014 INDY 500, a two-seater car ride, memorabilia autographed by race car driver Danica Patrick, and 18 additional prizes totaling more than $5,000.
“We are thrilled to be hosting this Community Outreach Event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and strive to give all in attendance a very fun and educational experience at one of America’s most iconic sports venues,” said Sibel Selcuk, Ph.D., chair of the ACS Indiana Local Section. “We are thankful to all of our volunteers who are the essential catalysts for the success of this event. As the event approaches, we hope all can join us in ‘Celebrating Science’ and witnessing some exciting ‘Chemistry in Motion!’ Remember chemistry and science is everywhere, even at the places we never thought about before.”
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The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With more than 163,000 members, ACS is the world's largest scientific society and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.