San José State to Host Area Students, Champion Racers for Honda STEAM Connections Tour

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San José, CA (Sept. 7) – Reigning Indianapolis 500 champion Alexander Rossi and two-time Indy 500-winning team owner and former racer Bryan Herta will be featured speakers Wednesday, Sept. 14, during the Honda STEAM Connections Tour on the campus of San José State University.

The 10 a.m.-2 p.m. event on the El Paseo de Cesar E. Chavez will showcase the science, technology, engineering, arts, and math of motorsports and the automotive industry to area middle and high school students.

Conducted in collaboration with the Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering’s Formula SAE program, displays will include Rossi’s Verizon IndyCar Series Honda race car, competition builds for an internal combustion vehicle, an all-electric vehicle (EV), Baja Peninsula competition vehicle, robotics demonstrations, a television production element and tours of the SAE Garage where the builds occur.

San Jose native and Honda Performance Development engineer Luiz Olivera, who was a member of Rossi’s Indy 500-winning team, will conduct Q&As with students at the Honda INDYCAR display during the program.

“Motorsports is a good outreach program for STEM because there is a lot of technology that goes into a race car,” said Rossi, of Nevada City, California, who won the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 in May, and will compete in the Verizon IndyCar Series’ championship-deciding race Sunday, Sept. 18, at Sonoma Raceway. “Not only do you have the technology standpoint, but you have the mechanical as well. There is a lot of expertise that comes together to make a race car go faster on the track.”

Herta, of Valencia, California, is a former open-wheel and sports car racer who has been involved in the ownership side of Verizon IndyCar Series and Indy Lights teams for nearly a decade. His 16-year-old son Colton is currently driving for Carlin in the Euro Formula Open series in Europe.

Both Rossi and Herta will address students during the program about how STEAM curriculum can lead to exciting career opportunities. They’ll also conduct an autograph session.

Media is invited to shoot B-roll/photographs from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (local). Olivera and Rossi will be available for interviews at 12:30 at the Honda IndyCar display.

A new feature of the Honda STEAM Connections Tour will put an emphasis on the “A” in STEAM:  participating middle school and high school students will have the opportunity to design a driver’s helmet and submit in advance of the event and shoot a video of the day’s experience, with exciting prizes for both student and school winners.

San José State University is the third and final stop on the Honda STEAM Connections Tour. In May, Purdue University hosted an event for more than 1,200 middle school and high school students at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Rossi was among the speakers that also included former Indiana Gov. and current Purdue University President Mitch Daniels. The Ohio State University was the site of the second stop in July that featured head football coach Urban Meyer and Project Lead The Way Midwest director William White as special guests.

The Honda STEAM Connections Tour is organized and managed by STEAM Sports Group.

For more information
Robin McElhatton (SJSU), robin.mcelhatton@sjsu.edu, 408-924-1749
Dave Lewandowski (STEAM Sports Group), david@dickinsonpg.com, 317-331-9385

Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering
The Davidson College of Engineering comprises 12 engineering disciplines in addition to General Engineering, more than 7,300 undergraduate and graduate students, and approximately 260 faculty and staff members. It is the largest engineering program in the 23-campus California State University system.  

San José State University
The founding campus of the 23-campus California State University system, San José State provides a comprehensive university education, granting bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in 145 areas of study with an additional 108 concentrations – offered through its eight colleges.

With more than 32,000 students and nearly 4,370 employees, San José State continues to be an essential partner in the economic, cultural and social development of Silicon Valley and the state, annually contributing more than 7,000 graduates to the workforce.