When applied properly, even a drag racing car can serve as an educational tool.

Team Thunder rolled into town with its top-fuel drag race car Sept. 10, and Sam Parton, a drag racer and teacher from Grove, led an assembly to teach the Red River Technology Center students about essential life lessons.

Parton said, “I’m using this as a long, giant and loud visual aid.

“It’s about relevancy, relating the real world. It’s a fun way to grab their attention.”

This was the second program Parton and his crew put on for RRTC. The first was done last winter, but an ice storm prevented Parton from bringing the drag racer. He told the school he would return later, which he did on Sept. 10.

Later in the week, Team Thunder made its way to other area school districts, including Velma-Alma and Marlow.

RRTC Assistant Superintendent Ken Layn said the program helped the school focus on some areas on which the students needed to focus.

“What we have to work on is showing them that goal-setting and dreams are critical factors for success,” Layn said.

Students gathered in the seminar room and listened to Porter talk about the importance of having goals to be successful in life. He said dreams have four parts — inspiration, perspiration, evaluation and activation.

He said he wanted to apply real-world applications to the classroom to help students realize how important their studies are for the rest of their lives.

“As a teacher of 15 years, I saw the need to bring the real world to the classroom,” Parton said. “It’s just a culmination of the real world.”

Instruction for the day included a video shown in the classroom highlighting a rundown of important factors when setting goals. Following that, students went outside for a loud demonstration of hearing a drag racing vehicle.

But seeing the car was only part of the lesson. Students were told to cover their ears, and the car was started and then revved up to increase the fun of the program.

“It’s fun,” Parton said. “I get to teach every day and drag race every day.”

Following the program, Layn said he thought the students got a lot out of the demonstration.

“I thought it was exceptionally good,” he said. “It’s something we don’t see on a daily basis.”

Parton said the program meant a lot to him, which is why he has been doing it for about seven years.

“It’s helping them study for the real world,” he said. “I put my heart and soul into it.”

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