FirstEnergyAll-American Soap Box Derby Countdown


Derby Downs: Field Trip Destination for Hundreds of Akron Students


Beginning Tuesday, June 15 through Thursday, June 17, 2021, nearly 400 area students will be taking a field trip to historic Derby Downs, home to the FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby World Championship Races. The outing is the culminating activity of a science, technology, engineering, math (STEM) curriculum jointly presented by the International Soap Box Derby (ISBD) and Akron Public Schools. Throughout the Mystery Camp program, fifth and sixth grade students from 29 local schools spend 90 minutes a day engaging in learning activities that teach the principles of physics, provide opportunities for creativity, and encourage teamwork and collaboration.

“This is an excellent example of how two community organizations can join forces to enrich the lives and minds of our young people,” said Mark Gerberich, ISBD president and chief executive officer. “Seeing all these students here at the track will be reminder of all the possibilities and hope we can inspire in the kids.”

During their half-day visit to Derby Downs, students will tour the Soap Box Derby Hall of Fame and Museum, experience how Derby car kits and parts are manufactured, participate in a scavenger hunt throughout the facility, and of course, experience the “thrill on the hill” with a ride down the 989 foot-long, newly repaved racetrack.

“It will be exciting to see the kids apply the STEM concepts they learned in the classroom portion of the program to the reality of seeing and riding in an actual Derby car,” said Linda Hubbell, ISBD Education Director.

The Derby’s STEM based education program uses the tools and values of Soap Box Derby racing to introduce new concepts and understanding to students in an enjoyable, engaging way. The Soap Box Derby Education Program is designed to provide K-12 educators and students with project and standards-based, inter-curricular learning opportunities for students and educators to become engaged in an activity that is gravity powered and STEM driven! For more information about The International Soap Box Derby and our STEM based curriculum visit