Several Petaluma students will be among the more than 1,900 from 33 schools and clubs taking part in the fourth annual STEM Race Car Challenge.

The curriculum-based event, which is a partnership with Sonoma Raceway, Kid Scoop News and Friedman’s Home Improvement, focuses on educating students about the importance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Groups of student engineers will be tasked with developing a gravity-powered race car utilizing recycled materials. Kid Scoop News has worked closely with teachers to develop a STEM-based curriculum that challenges students to think critically and work collaboratively to build the quickest car. Activities in the STEM Race Car Challenge are designed to introduce and reinforce both national common core standards and 21st century job skills.

Students will put their purpose-built race cars to the test in a series of qualifying rounds at each school, which will narrow down to a group of students who will compete in the final round on June 24, of the Toyota/Save Mart 350 weekend.

The winning student engineers of the STEM Race Car Challenge will serve as VIPs during the Carneros 200 NASCAR West Series race on Saturday, receive a trophy and tickets to Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 race, courtesy of Friedman’s Home Improvement.

Petaluma participating students are from La Tercera Elementary School, Loma Verde Elementary and Meadow Elementary.