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Published: Tuesday, 11/12/2013

Track and Explore Program at Adrian College Offers One-of-a-Kind Field Trips

Adrian College in collaboration with Michigan International Speedway provides a unique experience for area middle school students.

In the year since the partnership with the Michigan International Speedway and Adrian College began, they have developed and implemented a successful field trip program for middle school students.

The partnership and program is called Track and Explore and has aided Adrian College’s biology and teacher education students with opportunities for research. The opportunity also extends their outreach to a younger generation to help teach them about animal and plant life.

“This exciting partnership has exceeded our expectations,” said Dr. Agnes Caldwell, Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs at Adrian College.

The Track and Explore program initially started in the fall of 2012, and has since created the opportunity for more than 1,200 middle school students to learn about the ecosystem of the Irish Hills area. Adrian College teacher education students help them identify plants and animals in the area and learn the science of water and about the MIS racetrack.

Adrian College biology students have used the partnership to find and photograph samples, and some of the research has been presented on campus, as well as at conferences.

The program is limitless and unique. “We are the only ones, that we know of, who connect sports entertainment with STEM initiatives,” Dr. Caldwell said.

Track and Explore has been heralded by Adrian College President Jeffrey R. Docking at the annual State of the College address and has received much attention in the surrounding area.

The success of the ongoing partnership positively impacts the environment and benefits science, math and technology education through serving the children of Lenawee County.

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