Backed by support from Hixon Motor Sports (HMS), the Austin Hatcher Foundation for Pediatric Cancer (AHF) is adding a new STEM-based program called “E-Racing” through its Industrial Arts Education Therapy division, the foundation announced.
The E-Racing program aims to inspire children who have been affected by childhood cancer to take an interest in engineering, the organization said, and will allow kids to build their own functioning and drivable electric car, while building self-confidence, problem solving skills and creative thinking. The AHF team will then race the car at the Green Prix, an event hosted by Green Spaces Chattanooga on Oct. 20 at Volkswagen Chattanooga.
Hixon Motor Sports is a long-standing partner of the Austin Hatcher Foundation, a nonprofit that provides free mental and behavioral health services (such as counseling, occupational therapy, tutoring, grief groups, music & art therapy and more) to children diagnosed with cancer, as well as their families. Hixon Motor Sports displays the AHF logo on their No. 87 racecar, driven Selin Rollan.
HMS Team Owner, Bryan Hixon, expressed his excitement: “With philanthropy being at the core of both sides of my family and the HMS racing team, I could not be more honored and thrilled that we are able to join forces with Austin Hatcher Foundation for a very unique and creative new childhood cancer therapy method combining motorsports with engineering,” said HMS Owner, Bryan Hixon. “When times are tough for families, one of the best things you can do is to offer a great distraction that includes learning new skill sets and to turn the focus on this incredible STEM-based experience. Motorsports has been successfully providing me and my family with a great outlet for helping heal after losses, and my mother and I hope that this new therapeutic E-Racing option at AHF also offers a sense of healing and relief in the families participating in the Goblin program.”
The Mazda MX-5 Cup team is helping fund the nine children who will be building and racing this Formula Goblin electric vehicle car, as well as the car’s bodywork panels, its livery, crew gear, a canopy tent, extra parts, a full toolset to build and repair the car, two STEAM and Industrial Arts educators and more, the organization said.
“The E-Racing Program is so much more than just building a really cool electric vehicle,” said Amy Jo Osborn, AHF’s CEO and co-founder. “These kids, who have all experienced cancer themselves or felt cancer’s effects by watching a sibling’s battle, will get to learn about engineering, renewable energy, wiring, aerodynamics and so much more. They’ll get to work on fine motor skills, which are often lost during a child’s battle against cancer, while also strengthening career-readiness. They’ll help demonstrate the importance of STEM and sustainability, while promoting social inclusion for vulnerable and disadvantaged young people. We cannot thank Bryan Hixon, Karen Hixon and the HMS team enough for being the power behind this program and are so excited to get this started.”