20229583_1486001894800484_8734558601484271871_oEDMONDS, WA (July 18, 2017) Scott & Shannon Raney, owners of the U11 Unlimited Hydroplane announce the formation of STEMacceleration – a nonprofit whose mission is:

“Racing to change the lives of students by providing hands-on STEM inquiry learning opportunities using the power of the extreme sport of unlimited hydroplane racing.”

In October 2016, the U11 Unlimited Racing Group began a pilot program working with multiple grade school and high school students interested in participating in hands-on learning opportunities while working on the U11 race boat. After several months Scott & Shannon realized they were making a meaningful difference in how these experiences helped students implement what they learned in school. “We started thinking about the program as a pilot and immediately started to brainstorm on how we could expand this program on a larger scale” said Shannon Raney.

Why STEM? Studies have projected that by 2022 there will be nine million STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) jobs in the United States.  At STEMacceleration they believe that students must be provided real life STEM experiences that not only put school content to work – but spark a lifelong passion for STEM learning.

Why Unlimited Hydroplane Racing? The sport of unlimited hydroplane racing provides participants with the opportunity to learn at the intersection of STEM concepts including:

  • Science of speed generation, energy conservation, the laws of floatation, the impact of friction, and instrument measurement.
  • Technology of troubleshooting, energy generation, data gathering, and speed analytics.
  • Engineering of solutions, functionality within constraints, fabrication, propulsion systems, inspection, electrical systems, and rigging design.
  • Mathematics of computational thinking, measuring tools, impact of gear ratios, and fuel usage.

While STEM learning is the primary objective, participating in an unlimited hydroplane racing team also builds important 21st century skills including active listening, critical thinking, persistence, negotiation, flexibility, discipline, problem solving and the science of teamwork. STEM education helps students learn to become problem solvers, innovators, creators, and collaborators and go on to fill the critical pipeline of STEM jobs.

Finally, the participant student audience already exists. “The sport has access to 800,000 ticketed fans at five race sites[1]around the United States” said Scott Raney. The audience is largely made up of families with children who are already fascinated by hydroplanes that travel over 200 miles per hour.

How you can help? You can make a difference by investing in STEMacceleration and spreading the word. Your tax deductible gift[2] will speed up its impact. Sponsorships, onetime gifts, recurring gifts, grants, and bequests are just a few ways you can make a difference. Please partner with STEMacceleration on this innovative way to help students get deeply excited about STEM education and careers.

For more information contact Shannon Raney, Executive Director, STEMacceleration at Shannon@u11racing.com.