500 Festival and Indianapolis 500 Education Program

presented by Indiana University Health


Combine 4th Grade Learning With Meaningful Fun! 

The 500 Festival & Indianapolis 500 Education Program, presented by Indiana University Health, immerses Indiana 4th grade students in the world of the Indianapolis 500 and 500 Festival, exploring their important place in Indiana’s history and culture. More than a field trip, the Education Program is a combination of classroom work – based on an Indiana Academic Standards-based curriculum – and a Study Trip that brings the classroom material to life.

This award-winning program is an engaging addition to the 4th grade curriculum and is available to all Indiana 4th grade classrooms. There is no cost to participate in the Education Program. Lesson plans and student materials are free to schools enrolled in the program. Each participating classroom receives Indiana standards-based lessons, supporting materials for specific lessons, and an educational DVD to compliment the lessons. The lessons meet academic standards for language arts, health, math, science, social studies, visual arts and physical education.

Study Trip

The Education Program’s checkered flag is its study trips. Participating schools have the opportunity to host a mobile study trip, conducted at their school in March, or at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in April. During the visit, students will put classroom lessons into action at interactive, hands-on educational stations. Mobile study trips and study trips are available at no cost to participating schools. Due to demand, these trips are assigned through a lottery system. To register for the study trip lottery, the school must also be enrolled in the in-class Education Program by September 30.


The 500 Festival and Indianapolis 500 Education Program, presented by Indiana University Health, was launched in 2004. Since then, it has impacted  more than 275,000 Indiana students and 11,000 classrooms.

In 2016, 350 schools participated in the Education Program, impacting more than 25,000 Indiana fourth graders in nearly every Indiana county. Over 26,000 students will take part in the Education Program in 2017.



“It was a worthwhile program. As we study Indiana history in 4th grade, we try to instill in our students pride in their state. Learning about (visiting) IMS helps develop that pride.”
Jane Cumberworth, Rushville Elementary

“Outstanding educational program. Volunteers were courteous & informative. Track atmosphere – exciting. Students absolutely loved it.”
Paula Jones, MSD Shakamak