Kat DeLorean, Sim 4 STEM to host 360 teens for free sim-racing program
Live near Detroit? Your teen could attend a field trip this September—for free, through their high school—and return to school you on racing lines and tire temperatures.
If it sounds like someone is training kids for Formula 1, you’re not far off. This day-long workshop, which runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. September 12 to 20 is organized by a brand-new company called Sim 4 STEM, co-founded in May of 2023 by Stefy Bau and Nicci Daly. The mission of Sim 4 STEM is to discover new female talent and grow the talent pool of women competing on and off the track. The whole program focuses on sim racing over go-karting because, Bau says, “We meet kids where they are—every kid is online.” An Italian-born motocross veteran, Bau is also CEO of Init Esports.
The Sim 4 STEM program centers around five hands-on activities, each designed to place participants in a different motorsports-oriented role. “Not everyone’s going to want to be a driver,” says Daly, Formula Female’s other co-founder, who spent three years working in IndyCar as a data engineer before pursuing field hockey as a member of Ireland’s Olympic team. (In 2018, Ireland won silver.)
Data engineer, mechanic, even influencer—the program includes a taste of each. The kids build a temperature sensor and connect it to a miniature data logger. They learn to read the live readouts on a laptop, as if they were monitoring tire temperatures from the garage on behalf of a driver. The pitstop challenge brings out everyone’s competitive sides: Teams are chosen to include students from different schools. Using a rig equipped with go-kart tires (for safety’s sake), each team competes to complete the fastest pitstop.
Don’t worry, though—everyone gets behind the wheel. Sim 4 STEM supplies all the equipment, including the sim rigs, with real-deal Recaro seats, pedal kits by Fanatec, and cockpits built by Next Level Racing. After the teens learn how to build their own sim-racing steering wheel, they learn how to use math to calculate the fastest racing line around a track. Then it’s straight to the sims to prove that the geometry actually makes you faster. During the iRacing sessions, they learn how to get their tires into the optimum temperature range and discover how tire temps affect handling and lap times.
The Detroit program will be Sim 4 Stem’s second; the first event was held in Indianapolis, timed to overlap with the Indy 500. After the indoor activities were done, the teens got to go into an active garage and actually watch a pitstop.
“If they can see it,” says Daly, “They can believe it and be inspired to achieve it.”
Held at the Detroit Historical Society Museum, September’s event is special because Sim 4 Stem is partnering with DeLorean Next Gen Motors (DNG), a not-for-profit automotive company headed by Kathryn DeLorean, who has a passion for equipping young people to pursue careers in the automotive industry. DNG will be providing free lunches for each of the nine days, along with a ticket to the Detroit Auto Show for each participant. The show is open to the public September 16–24 at Huntington Place, where DNG is expected to introduce its first-ever vehicle—the JZD, named after the initials of Kat’s father, John.
If your child (or grand child’s) school is interested in sending students to the Sim 4 STEM program, but doesn’t have vehicles that can transport all the students, tell the educators to reach out to the museum: It is offering a grant to provide buses to schools without them.
The first five days (September 12–16) of the Sim 4 STEM workshop are reserved for girls between the ages of 14 and 18; from September 17 to 20, everyone 14 to 18 is invited. The workshop is roughly the length of a school day: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. You can register here for a student (or if you are one yourself), and here if you’re representing a school.