Free, girl-targeted ‘Sim for STEM’ program offers teens a chance at virtual racing

DETROIT–The Detroit Historical Museum will host an international program that aims to boost girls’ interest in the STEM subjects–science, technology, engineering, and mathematics–through a virtual racing experience.

“Sim4STEM” will be running programs for girls only Sept. 12-16 and everyone Sept. 17-20. ages 14-18, at the historical museum, 5401 Woodward Ave. In Detroit.  Each daily session runs from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., in keeping with the school day

To sign up for the free events, visit

Organizing the effort are Stefy Bau, a native of Italy, former professional motocross racer, and now CEO of Init Esports Inc.,  and Nicci Daly, a native of Ireland who played on that country’s 2020 Olympic field hockey team, and founder of Formula Female, an organization dedicated to fostering the involvement of women in motorsports.

Bau stressed that the event is free and that both educators and individual students and their parents can sign up.

“We’re trying to take away every possible barrier to entry,” Bau said. “The event is free, we provide lunch, and the Historical Museum has funding for transportation if a school cannot afford to provide it. This is a super fun and educational program and we can’t wait to engage with as many young women in the Detroit area as possible.”

Four of the nine days are already filled to their maximum capacity of 40 students per day, but a few spots are still available for the remaining days.

For a video preview of the program, visit

Bau said she met Daly through the tight-knit community of women in racing. And while at an Esports competitive gaming conference in Florida earlier this year, Bau met Danielle Sirekis, head Esports coach at Lawrence Technological University, who suggested that the Sim4STEM program should make a stop in Detroit–a natural, given Detroit’s heritage as the Motor City.

That LTU connection also now includes event sponsor DNG Motors. DNG is an acronym for DeLorean Next Generation, and it’s a nonprofit that aims to encourage STEM education at the high school level through automotive design. John DeLorean, who founded the original DeLorean Motors, was a 1948 Lawrence Tech graduate, and his daughter, Kat, founded DNG. More about DNG at

The event will feature an “LTU Day” for the Lawrence Tech community Wednesday, Sept. 13 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

As for Sim4STEM, Bau said: “Our company uses digital gaming to bring more women and minorities into motorsports. We launched Sim4STEM at the Indy 500 in May. We got 200 kids to participate in it. And it’s magic when you see the kids come out of the event–they realize that this is how you use math, this is how you use engineering.”

Kimmie Dobos Wolfe, manager of education and volunteers at the Detroit Historical Society, said the organization got involved in the event “after Sim4STEM reached out to us noting our large space as a museum, and more importantly, our collection and storytelling of the city’s auto heritage. We are proud to make accessibility to programs a priority, especially for children, and thankful that we are able to continue our work through this partnership. The focus of promoting equitable opportunities to girls in the region while exposing them to STEM programming and jobs in the auto industry really spoke to us, especially as a woman-led team within our organization. We were thrilled to be invited to host this program because of the impact it will have on participants.”

Sim4STEM is a pioneering initiative created by Init Esports and Formula Female, dedicated to providing STEM education through state-of-the-art simulator technology. By merging the worlds of gaming and education, Sim4STEM aims to inspire the next generation of motorsports drivers, particularly from underrepresented backgrounds. More at

The Detroit Historical Society was founded in 1921, dedicated to ensuring that the history of our region is preserved so that current and future generations of metro Detroiters can better understand the people, places and events that helped shape our lives. The society created the Detroit Historical Museum in 1928 and managed it until 1945, resuming day-to-day management of the museum in 2006, along with the Dossin Great Lakes Museum on Belle Isle, and more than 250,000 artifacts in the museums’ collections.

Lawrence Technological University is one of only 13 private, technological, comprehensive doctoral universities in the United States. Located in Southfield, Mich., LTU was founded in 1932 and offers more than 100 programs through its Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Business and Information Technology, Engineering, and Health Sciences, as well as Specs@LTU as part of its growing Center for Professional Development. PayScale lists Lawrence Tech among the nation’s top 11 percent of universities for alumni salaries. Forbes and The Wall Street Journal rank LTU among the nation’s top 10 percent. U.S. News and World Report list it in the top tier of the best Midwest colleges. Students benefit from small class sizes and a real-world, hands-on, “theory and practice” education with an emphasis on leadership. Activities on Lawrence Tech’s 107-acre campus include more than 60 student organizations and NAIA varsity sports.

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