Winning Indy 500 car at San Jose State University to promote STEM fields

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Students, start your engines! The Indianapolis 500 winner was at San Jose State on Wednesday. It's all about taking technology out of the classroom and talking about how it applies to the racetrack.

About 250 middle school and high school students were at the campus for the Honda STEAM Connections Tour, which promoted science, technology, engineering art and math.

Every curve and every component showcases the power of engineering.

"It's definitely awesome," said said Honda performance development engineer Luis Oliveras.

The Honda racecar just won the Indy 500. And the team of engineers hope it will cross the finish line first at the Sonoma race track Saturday.

"Our goal is to give the driver all the tools he needs to go fast," said Oliveras.

While flying around the track at 200 miles per hour, driver Alex Rossi can use the steering wheel to make real time adjustments to the fuel and engine.

"On a race car, everything from fuel, chemistry, aerodynamics, it all matters, it's all stuff that we learn in the STEM program," said Oliveras.

He started working for Honda more than three years ago.

He hopes the 250 middle and high school students checking out the car on Wednesday will see his passion and use it to fuel their own professional decisions.

"Mechanical engineering, computer science are all extremely difficult majors," he said. "It requires a lot of dedication and it's definitely all worth it."

High school senior Jackie Otala says seeing the real life application of automotive engineering has motivated her to apply to San Jose State.

"At our high school we have engineering classes and we have an auto tech class, but you don't get to see the two mash together," said Otala. "And it's so interesting, I love it."

The winning Indy 500 driver was set to talk to students in the afternoon.

This was the third and final stop for the Honda Racing STEAM Tour. Earlier this year they swung by Ohio State and Purdue.
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