Flags Up Raceway is back for its second year! The Flags Up Raceway program was designed by Meraki Community Uplift and Safe Alternative Foundation for Education Inc. to introduce Baltimore City youth to science, technology, engineering and math (S.T.E.M.) through hands-on training, racing and mechanics, culminating with a day of fun for the hard-working students and the community.
Last summer, six teams of students from schools in West, South and East Baltimore, were tasked with building their own soap box derby-style cars over a period of six weeks. At the end of the program, the teams gathered for a day of races at the inaugural Flags Up Raceway community event, and the West Baltimore team took home first prize. The Port Covington Development Team was a sponsor of last year’s Race Day event and is pleased to support the program again with volunteers and sponsoring the two South Baltimore go-karts.
On May 26, 2018, each region will compete again in West Baltimore’s Franklin Square, but with an added twist. This year, instead of soap box racers, teams will race gas-powered go-karts. The groups of 10-20 students each are actively working with volunteers, coaches and industry professionals to construct their go-karts during a program challenging their skills in S.T.E.M.
The program curriculum is designed to teach participants about mechanics and engineering as well as topics like designing a brakes system, steering, suspension, fuel levels, and much more. The teams are working on their go-karts from Oliver Recreation Center in East Baltimore, the SAFE center in West Baltimore and New Era Academy in South Baltimore ahead of the culminating event.
Kirsten Allen, the founder of Meraki Community Uplift and event organizer of Flags Up Raceway said, “It is deeply important to me that Baltimore City youth and under-resourced communities get exposure to various career paths and fields of study like engineering and S.T.E.M. This program is meant to be a catalyst for increased exposure to those fields. Plus, the rematch against West Baltimore was inevitable.”
Come cheer on the Port Covington Development Team’s sponsored go-karts on Race Day on May 26. Here’s a look at last year’s Race Day:
Do you have experience in building or mechanics or work in the field of engineering and want to volunteer with the students ahead of Race Day? You can e-mail Kallen@PlankIndustries.com for more information.