SONOMA, Calif. (May 14, 2016) - More than 1,300 North Bay students will take part in the 3rd annual STEM Race Car Challenge, presented by Friedman's Home Improvement. This school-based event, which is a partnership with Sonoma Raceway, Kid Scoop News and Friedman's Home Improvement, focuses on educating students about the importance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Groups of student engineers from 12 North Bay elementary schools will be tasked with developing a gravity-powered race car utilizing recycled materials. Kid Scoop News has worked closely with teachers to develop a STEM-based curriculum that challenges students to think critically and work collaboratively to build the fastest car. Activities in the STEM Race Car Challenge, presented by Friedman's Home Improvement are designed to introduce and reinforce both national common core standards and 21st century job skills. 

Students will put their purpose-built race cars to the test in a series of qualifying rounds at each school, with the finalists taking part in the final round on Saturday, June 25, of the Toyota/Save Mart 350 weekend, prior to the Chevys Fresh Mex 200 NASCAR West Series main event. The winning student engineers of the STEM Race Car Challenge will each receive a trophy and tickets to Sunday's Toyota/Save Mart 350 race, courtesy of Friedman's Home Improvement.

            Sonoma Raceway has partnered with Sonoma-based Kid Scoop News, a monthly tabloid style paper distributed to 1,000 classrooms and 45,000 kids in North and East Bay, on the race car challenge. Kid Scoop News has been key to the program, providing a strong base of teacher-tested content and working with educators on an ongoing basis to craft curriculum that can be utilized by schools. Through their effort, the number of participating schools had grown from three in its inaugural year to 12 schools in 2016.

North Bay schools participating in this year's event include: Coleman Elementary School (San Rafael); La Tercera Elementary School (Petaluma); Loma Verde Elementary School (Novato); Lynwood Elementary School (Novato); Marguerite Hahn Elementary School (Rohnert Park); Napa Junction Elementary School (American Canyon); Sheppard Accelerated Elementary School (Santa Rosa); Waldo Rohnert Elementary School (Cotati-Rohnert Park); Washington Elementary School (Cloverdale) and West Side Elementary School (Healdsburg).

"The teachers tell us that the students get extremely excited about this unit of study," said Vicki Whiting, curriculum developer and publisher of Kid Scoop News. "The chance to go to Sonoma Raceway and race in a real-world setting really revs up the enthusiasm and motivates students to learn key STEM concepts."

New for 2016, Sonoma Raceway and Kid Scoop News have issued a Reading Challenge to area schools, through which students can receive race tickets by tracking and submitting their daily reading on the Reading Challenge Chart. For more information, visit

NASCAR fans and guests are invited to watch the finals of the STEM Race Car Challenge, presented by Friedman's Home Improvement at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 25, in Sonoma Raceway's Sunoco Victory Lane located just south of the main grandstand. For tickets or more information on NASCAR's annual visit to Sonoma, visit or call 800-870-RACE