BMX Racing Helps Oklahoma Students Learn STEM Curriculum
TULSA, Oklahoma - Thousands of athletes from around the world are in Tulsa this weekend for the BMX Grand Nationals.
The sport is not just about the competition, but also getting Oklahoma students interested in STEM education.
Riders of all ages are competing, and BMX leaders hope to use the sport to help teach science, technology, engineering, and math.
While most athletes are focused on getting a win, leaders in the sport are focused on using BMX to engage young riders in STEM curriculum. Scott Fry of Mid America Industrial Park says their partnership with USA BMX is doing just that.
"Through the USA BMX Foundation STEM program, it's a program built around bikes where they learn common hand tools, they learn physics," said Fry.
They've installed STEM labs in 19 Oklahoma school districts with things like 3D printers to make bicycle parts. Fry says most kids are interested in bikes, making it easy to inspire them to learn the science behind them.
"Just leveraging that interest in bikes and building some skill sets, STEM skill sets out of that," Fry said.
BMX organizers say it’s the only Olympic sport with a dedicated STEM program. Justin Posey has been racing for 20 years and is excited about getting students interested in the sport and teaching them important skills along the way.
"To give kids something to be excited about learning and just do disguised learning through a bike so combine education and physical fitness with our bikes," said Posey.
Races continue through the weekend with the final championship taking place this Sunday.