by: Natalie Pasquarella Updated:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - After a long race day, Kasey Kahne will have an early morning when he heads to Uptown Charlotte for his annual Five Kahne 5K.
One of the biggest goals of the race is educating local kids about the skills behind racing.
Eyewitness News sat down with the driver of the No. 5 Chevy to find out how he is helping kids learn about science, technology, engineering and math outside of the classroom.
Changing the tires, taking the wheel, studying the engine – it is an interactive approach to learning for high school students from Iredell-Statesville Schools as they step into the NASCAR Hall Of Fame for the first time.
"You get to see the newest technology around," said Byron Hurt, "We're actually getting up to date with it, we get to mess with it and play with it and fix everything, and it's pretty awesome."
For information on the Five Kahne 5K, click here.
The trip for students from the Career Academy and Technical School in Troutman is one of many made possible by the Kasey Kahne Foundation.
"It's all about kids and it's all about trying to give them opportunities," said Kahne.
Kahne said he has always wanted to help children learn about what goes into racing.
"I just started with my dad, and he taught me about the cars and working on race cars, sprint cars at the time," said Kahne.
Kahne realized that not many kids get the exposure, so in 2011 he partnered with the NASCAR Hall of Fame to fund educational field trips that focus on science, technology, engineering and math or stem learning.
"I think it's good, it's eye opening for them now when they're young, and maybe they'll end up you know, wanting to be an engineer, or want to be involved in racing because of some of the things they learn at the hall," said Kahne.
For a link to the Nascar Hall of Fame, click here.
The big fundraiser for his program is Sunday, the annual Five Kahne 5K.
He expects more than 600 runners.
"It's been growing and it's been awesome to be a part of that."
Kahne hopes it continues to grow, so that students like Hurt and his classmates can continue the experience.
"It's pretty cool to sit down and actually look at what's going into all of this, what goes into it , there's so much math, science," said Hurt.
An experience their teachers said adds immeasurable value to the classroom.
"They can experience it in the classroom, but when they come on a trip like this, they're able to get to see it in action," said Ashley Pope.
The partnership has made it possible for more than 2,000 students to visit the Hall of Fame for free.
The 5 Kahne 5K on Sunday starts at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Uptown Charlotte at 9 a.m. The race officially begins at 10 a.m.
Kasey Kahne Foundation brings education to children through racing
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