More than 1,200 students from area schools participated in Friday's expansive STEM Expo held at zMax Dragway, an educational kick-off for this weekend's Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race weekend festivities - which begin with All-Star Race qualifying and the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 on Friday night.

Students at the STEM Expo learned how science, technology, engineering and math relate to motorsports and to careers in other science-heavy industries. The students got to take part in educational demonstrations with several hands-on activities as well.

Booths and activities ranged from motorsports and robotics, to lighting, and rescue departments. There were also DARE officers in attendance to heighten students' awareness to the dangers of drugs and alcohol. Attendees also took part in Q&A sessions with racing luminaries including NASCAR driver Kyle Larson and longtime motorsports journalist Deb Williams.

Schools interested in applying to attend upcoming STEM tours and future STEM Expos at the speedway can learn more by visiting