Kid-powered momentum

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McCORDSVILLE — Jacen Morales grinned as he accepted a glass of milk and a golden trophy from Indianapolis 500 Festival Princess Lauren Bryant.

Jacen, 6, earned the accolades by being the fastest kindergarten racer in the Kindy 500 at McCordsville Elementary School on Wednesday. The fourth-annual event celebrates the history of the Indianapolis 500 and encourages kindergarten students and their families to create their own custom race cars, said McCordsville Elementary School principal Stephanie Miller.

All 92 kindergarten students at the school created cardboard vehicles, which ranged from simple decorated boxes to replica race cars and an ambulance. The kindergarten students worked on their cars for a few weeks and ran races in heats on Wednesday, before the final declared Jacen the champion, Miller said.

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While the project encourages building and engineering, with some students wiring their cars with lights, it’s also a great way to emphasize the importance of the longstanding Hoosier tradition, she said.

“It’s a very historical event in our area and our state,” Miller said.