Virginia 529 College Savings Plan Increases Partnership With RIR

New Kids Zone Will Debut During April NASCAR Race Weekend

Virginia 529 Kid Zone

Virginia 529's Mary Morris and RIR's Dennis Bickmeier unveil the Virginia 529 Kids Zone logo


Richmond International Raceway and Virginia 529 College Savings Plan officials hosted race fans at the Science Museum of Virginia today for an up-close view of a Diet Coke® and Mentos® blast.  The demonstration was part of an announcement leading into the April 26-28 NASCAR weekend at RIR. 

The Virginia 529 College Savings Plan announced today they are enhancing their partnership with RIR, to include the creation of a new Virginia 529 Kids Zone powered by the Science Museum of Virginia.  In addition, Virginia 529 will return to America’s Premier Short Track for the fourth year as the title sponsor of the September 7, NASCAR Nationwide Series race.  The Virginia 529 College Savings Plan also remains the Official College Savings Plan of the track and presenting sponsor of the Family Sections presented by Virginia 529.

“We at Virginia 529 are pleased to announce that we will once again be the title sponsor of the. NASCAR Nationwide Series race at RIR on September 7th,” said Mary G. Morris, CEO of Virginia 529 College Savings Plan.  “Our partnership with RIR allows us to further our goal of increasing awareness of the four tax-advantaged college savings programs that we offer to Virginians and families across the country.”

“The Virginia 529 College Savings Plan is a great partner of Richmond International Raceway,” said track president Dennis Bickmeier. “We are proud to have them on board in a larger capacity in 2012 with the new Virginia 529 Kids Zone and look forward to kicking off the September NASCAR Doubleheader Weekend with the Virginia 529 College Savings 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race.”

The new Virginia 529 Kids Zone powered by the Science Museum of Virginia will be located near the Commonwealth Mall on Friday and Saturday of both race weekends and will feature hands-on exhibits for kids 12 and younger.  Exhibits expected to be included in the Virginia 529 Kids Zone include:


  • Quacker Smacker (Science Unplugged) – use moving air to ring a bell
  • Paper Airplane (Science Unplugged)—2 pieces – create a paper airplane and fly it toward a target
  • Speed Weigh (Science Unplugged) – race wheels that weigh the same, but have most of the weight located in different places. Discover how that weight placement affects speed.
  • Chair Lift (Science Unplugged) – lift your own weight
  • Coins in Orbit (Science Unplugged) send a coin down side shoots and watch as the coin’s orbit and speed changes as it move into the gravity well. Donations are used to maintain exhibits.
  • Penny Souvenir (Science Unplugged) – smash a penny and watch it turn into a souvenir.
  • Bernoulli Blower (Science Unplugged) – discover air current’s role in keeping a ball floating
  • See Saw Science, Sr. (Science Unplugged) – discover how a lever and fulcrum that look like a seesaw can help you lift 100 pounds with less effort.
  • Geared to Go (Science Unplugged) – discover how bike pedals, sprockets and chain control the motion of a bike’s back wheel.
  • Match the Bones (Outreach) - put a skeleton back together by matching specific bones to a large human skeleton poster.
  • Arch Bridge (Outreach) – create a small arch bridge and walk over it.
  • Hand Battery (Outreach) – use your hand to complete a circuit
  • Body Puzzle (Outreach) - identify organs and try to fit them into the body puzzle
  • Test your Reflexes (Outreach) - test your reflexes by hitting a button when the buzzer sounds
  • Cell Explorer (Outreach) - identify cells in your own body and learn their functions
  • Steady Your Nerves (Outreach) - test their nerves by trying to move a metal bar through a maze without touching the sides.
  • Baggo


  • Mentos® Geyser Eruptions
  • Force and Motion

Table-top Science/Make & Takes

  • Make & Take Harmonicas (sound waves)
  • Newton’s Sled (Force & Motion-Newton’s 3rd Law)
  • Seed Starter (biofuel – germinating corn and discussing ethanol)
  • Paper Airplanes (air pressure among other things)

The Virginia 529 College Savings 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race is part of one of the biggest weekends on the entire NASCAR season schedule. The Fall NASCAR Doubleheader Weekend at Richmond International Raceway features two great races “under the lights”—the Virginia 529 College Savings 250 on Friday night, September 7 and the “One Last Race to Make The Chase” NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Saturday night, September 8.

The season-long Family Sections presented by Virginia 529 feature a special price on NASCAR Sprint Cup Series tickets for kids 12 and under and alcohol is prohibited in these sections. For NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, tickets for kids 12 and under start at $25 when accompanied by a paying adult. You must call 866-455-7223 to purchase children’s tickets in the Family Sections presented by Virginia 529 College Savings Plan.

Click here to purchase tickets for the Saturday, April 28, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 400 race and Saturday Pit Pass Upgrade, or call the ticket office at 866-455-7223. The race features defending series champion Tony Stewart, Chesterfield, Virginia’s Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and all of your favorite drivers.

The weekend begins on Thursday, April 26, with a doubleheader, showcasing the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown Late Model race, as well as the Blue Ox 100 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race. The action continues Friday, April 27, with a full day of on-track activity, including the NASCAR Nationwide Series 250 race and practice and pole qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Children 12 and younger are admitted free with a ticketed adult on Thursday and Friday.

For tickets and information, click here or call 866-455-7223. You can also Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter to stay up to date.

About the Virginia 529 College Savings Plan:

Virginia 529 is a 529 college savings plan that offers flexible, affordable, tax-advantaged savings for qualified higher education expenses through its four programs - Virginia Prepaid Education ProgramSM (VPEPSM), Virginia Education Savings TrustSM (VESTSM), College America® and CollegeWealth®. With over 2.1 million accounts and $34 billion under management as of December 31, 2011, Virginia 529 is the largest 529 plan in the country. For more information on Virginia 529’s college savings options visit
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