Rolling Meadows Students Build Winning Car; Earn Indycar Experience

A group of Rolling Meadows high school students enjoyed a front-row seat at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during practice for the upcoming 101st Indianapolis 500. The 10 students and three instructors were hosted by BIG KAISER, a technical sponsor for Andretti Autosport in the Verizon Indycar Series.

The students earned the VIP trip to Indianapolis after winning their own race in the Illinois Energy Efficient Vehicle Competition on May 8 in Joliet. For this competition, high school students put STEM lessons into practice by designing, building and driving an energy-efficient vehicle. Instead of racing for speed, they are competing for maximum distance on a single gallon of fuel. The winning team’s single-passenger vehicle achieved an astonishing 449 mpg, and the competition was featured on WGN-TV news the following day:…

The excursion to Indianapolis started with a visit to the Andretti Autosport race shop, followed by a guided tour at the IMS Museum, and then lunch in a private suite during practice rounds at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. BIG KAISER Vice President, Jack Burley, accompanied the group. “I think it was a great success and I enjoyed the experience as much as the kids,” he said.

Programs like the Illinois Energy Efficient Vehicle Competition are designed to promote manufacturing education and technology-related careers to high school students. In years past, Illinois school districts traveled to Wisconsin to participate in energy-efficient vehicle competitions. Thanks to a partnership among several public and private organizations like BIG KAISER and the Golden Corridor Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (, Illinois students now have the opportunity to participate in this authentic learning experience in their home state.

BIG KAISER, based in Hoffman Estates, is a worldwide leader in high-precision tooling systems and solutions for the metalcutting industry. The company is also a strong supporter of manufacturing education and workforce development, and sponsored the inaugural Illinois Energy Efficient Vehicle Competition.

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