Army Education News

U.S. Army Encourages Las Vegas-Area Students to Race Towards STEM at NHRA Y.E.S. Program

May 2, 2016

Since 1989, the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) has provided young students with an opportunity to learn more about the career choices within the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) communities through the Youth & Education Services (Y.E.S.) program, motorsports’ first and only fulltime event dedicated to educational programming.

On April 1, 2016 the U.S. Army partnered with NHRA to host the Y.E.S. program during the 17th annual DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals in Las Vegas, Nevada, providing more than 1,300 high school and college-aged students an opportunity to talk with U.S. Army Soldiers and motorsports professionals about the many different STEM career opportunities available to them after high school and college. 

During the Y.E.S. program, students are encouraged to test their leadership skills
by participating in a variety of strength and team building challenges.

To help demonstrate the importance of U.S. Army adaptability and teamwork, students participated in physical strength and team building challenges, including push-up contests and an obstacle course.

During the Y.E.S. program, students listened to a compelling and informational session with the reigning 2015 NHRA Top Fuel World Champion and driver of the MATCO Tools / U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster, Antron Brown, as well as U.S. Army Sergeant Edwin Maldonado and Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) Executive Chef Malcolm Clark. Discussion topics included the importance of goal-setting and STEM education, as well as the various careers in both the U.S. Army and motorsports that require STEM.

MATCO Tools / U.S. Army Top Fuel driver Antron Brown, U.S. Army Sergeant Edwin Maldonado and Don Schumacher Racing Executive Chef Malcolm Clark discuss STEM careers with Las Vegas-area students at the NHRA Y.E.S. program.

The panelists each shared an inspirational story, with DSR Executive Chef Malcolm Clark and Sergeant Maldonado discussing how the unique, cutting-edge training they received through culinary school and the Army has prepared them to be versatile in high-stress environments, whether it’s feeding hundreds of people at an NHRA race or while in the field serving our Nation’s Soldiers. Antron Brown also shared how teamwork, leadership skills and critical thinking are the keys to success both on and off the racetrack.

After the presentation, students were encouraged to visit the U.S. Army’s Go Army Experience Zone in the racetrack midway to see if they have what it takes to join the Army by participating in a variety of mental and fitness challenges. Students were invited to stick around for the Top Fuel Funny Car, Top Fuel Dragster and Pro Stock qualifying runs. 

MATCO Tools / U.S. Army Top Fuel Driver Antron Brown and U.S. Army Soldiers
challenge students to put their physical limits to the test in a push-up contest.

Celebrating its 27th year, the Y.E.S. program continues to educate students about career options and the importance of goal-setting through a series of 14 events across the country. With the help of the U.S. Army, the program continues to reach more than 25,000 students a year nationwide.

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