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  • Writer's pictureSTEAM Sports Foundation

Honda STEAM Connections Tour, Verizon IndyCar Series

Driver James Hinchcliffe To Visit University of Alabama

ATLANTA (April 10, 2018) – Verizon IndyCar Series race-winning driver and 2016 “Dancing with the Stars” runner-up  James Hinchcliffe will be the featured guest Wednesday, April 18, during the Honda STEAM Connections Tour at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa.

The 10 a.m.-2 p.m. (CDT) event on campus will showcase the science, technology, engineering, arts, and math of motorsports and the automotive industry to more than 300 area middle school and high school students, along with university students and faculty.

Conducted in collaboration with the College of Engineering’s Formula SAE program, displays will include the Honda Performance Development mobile engineering unit, the University’s new Formula SAE race car, robotics and drone demonstrations, and tours of engineering labs. A special follow-up curriculum has been prepared for teachers/students by STEAM Sports Group and renowned STEAM educator Dr. Laura Bottomley.

Additionally, a competition electric vehicle (EV) car from Huntsville, Alabama-based GreenpowerUSA will be on display. President Jacob Boyett will enlighten students about the organization’s objective to advance education in sustainable engineering and technology.

Hinchcliffe, who will compete April 20-22 in the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham in the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda-powered No. 5 Arrow Electronics entry, will take part in a special vehicle unveiling during the morning session of the event.

Along with Honda Performance Development engineer Brian Johnston, Hinchcliffe also will address students in the Ferguson Student Center theater about the importance of STEAM fields of study and how they can lead to exciting and rewarding career opportunities. A Question & Answer period and autograph session will follow.

“In motorsport, as in most careers these days, the sciences and math are so important. My Arrow Electronics Honda has hundreds of sensors to gauge how it’s running under variable conditions and, combined with my feedback, allows my Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and Honda engineers to optimize its performance for a winning strategy,” Hinchcliffe said. “The amount of technology in the Honda engine and the race car really is fascinating, and I count on that engineering and the people supporting it every time I’m on the racetrack.”

Media is invited to interview program participants following the car unveil at 11 a.m. (CDT) on the South side of the Ferguson Student Center at 751 Campus Drive West.

Hinchcliffe, who has claimed five victories, one pole position and 14 podium finishes in the Verizon IndyCar Series, is currently featured in a series of national commercials for Honda’s line of passenger vehicles and power equipment through its “Dream Garage Spring Event” promotion. The commercials run through April 29 on TV, radio and digital platforms.

The Oakville, Ontario, native also has been a contestant on “Celebrity Family Feud” in addition to wowing audiences with his moves on “Dancing with the Stars” in 2016 (Season 23). He and professional dance partner Shana Burgess were runners-up in the popular TV competition.

The Honda STEAM Connections Tour of universities across the nation, in its third year, emphasizes the science, technology, engineering, arts, and math that play a critical role in motorsports and automotive development. The tour is organized and managed by STEAM Sports Group.

For more information

Alana Norris (UA College of Engineering),, 205-348-6444

Dave Lewandowski (STEAM Sports Group),, 317-331-9385Campus map:

Honda Performance Development

HPD was founded in 1993 to spearhead Honda’s entry into Indy car racing and is marking its 25th anniversary in top-level North American motorsports. No other manufacturer has matched Honda’s success in Indy cars, which includes more than 225 race victories, 15 drivers’ championships, six competitive manufacturers’ championships and 12 Indianapolis 500 victories.

In addition to Indy car competition, HPD and Honda have a history of success in the classic endurance sports car races, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the 12 Hours of Sebring.

HPD offers a complete line of race engines for cars from grass roots to pinnacle; for professional, amateur and entry-level racers. For more information about HPD and the company’s racing product lines, please visit

University of Alabama College of Engineering

In 1837, The University of Alabama became one of the first five universities in the nation to offer engineering classes. Today, UA’s College of Engineering has more than 6,100 students and more than 130 faculty. In recent years, students in the College have been named USA Today All-USA College Academic Team members, Goldwater, Hollings, Portz, Boren, Mitchell and Truman scholars.

University of Alabama

The University of Alabama, the state’s oldest and largest public institution of higher education, is a student-centered research university that draws the best and brightest to an academic community committed to providing a premier undergraduate and graduate education. UA is dedicated to achieving excellence in scholarship, collaboration and intellectual engagement; providing public outreach and service to the state of Alabama and the nation; and nurturing a campus environment that fosters collegiality, respect and inclusivity.

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, curriculums 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.

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