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Michigan racetrack to become place of environmental education

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Michigan school children will soon study nature at a place many people might find surprising: Michigan International Speedway.

The auto racing track hosts crowds in excess of 100 thousand when NASCAR comes to Brooklyn twice each summer.

But Adrian College biology professor Jeff Lake says the other 50 weeks of the year, the track's campgrounds are ideal for exploring the ecosystems of the Irish Hills.

"This gives kids a real good opportunity to come out and interact with local flora and local fauna...go out on a trail walk and actually see plants in their native environment…get to see the woods.. And get that interpreted in a scientific framework,” says Lake.

Track president Roger Curtis says he hopes the program will encourage Michigan school children to become interested in environmentalism and conservation.

An Adrian College official says its important to expose 7th grade students to science and math in new and different ways, because that’s the age that many students lose interest in science and math.  

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.