The journey to the start line for the Annual Stanwood Camano Island All American Soap Box Derby (AASBD) held in June each year is guaranteed to be just as rewarding as the actual race itself. When Spring arrives, the process begins with build clinics where boys and girls ages 7 to 17 work with a parent or a mentor to assemble the cars and get them tuned up and ready for race day.
Beginning in April until race day, Build and Drive Clinics will be held each week from 6-8 pm. The Build and Drive Clinics provide a work space, tools and instruction so that kids can work with a parent or mentor, who often times is an uncle or aunt, a grandparent, a Big Brother or Sister or a family friend, to put their derby car together. Drivers are welcome to come for tips and tricks from the tech team.
Long before race day arrives, the challenge and excitement of building a Soap Box Derby comes from the experience of working with assembly instructions, identifying various kinds of nuts, bolts, screws and other hardware, as well as gaining firsthand experience using hand tools. For many new participants, this may be your first time building something with your own hands. For our more experienced racers, the challenge continues as manual skills are honed and strategy turns to understanding basic physics, math and mechanical engineering. When races are won or lost by 0.001 second, concepts such as friction, gravity and aerodynamics are important to grasp.