Racecar a Learning Tool

10-6-05 – Kids got a high-octane lesson, when a top fuel dragster made a special pit stop in Caney, OK this week. The car wasn't in town for a race, but as an alternative learning tool.

The 30 ft., lightening fast racecar is part of Team Thunder, a traveling motivational program that brings real-world experiences to help students relate to the material they learn in class. Sam Parton, a former racecar driver and teacher, founded team Thunder five years ago. The 249 students in grades pre-K through senior high learned lesson in science, math, English and technology. Students had dozens of questions even before school started.

“This is not something that comes into Caney very often. They see it on TV, but that's usually the only place they see it,” said Brenda Whitmire, principal for Caney Elementary.

At the end of the day the team fired up the dragster, leaving a memorable impression with students.

“[Sam] was talking about his dreams and doing what he wanted to do. I don't think you have to be a certain age to follow your dreams,” said Trent Daniel, a junior at Caney.

The funding that brought team thunder to town is called 'Great Expectations'. It’s a Department of Education grant that provides for school programs.