FirstEnergyAll-American Soap Box Derby Countdown


Record Number of Schools and Clubs Set to Compete in the Soap Box Derby's Gravity Racing Challenge STEM Team Competition presented by The University of Akron College of Engineering

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More than 180 teams from three states are set to compete in the Soap Box Derby’s Akron Gravity Racing Challenge© (GRC) STEM Team Competition presented by The University of Akron College of Engineering. On May 18th and 20th teams will compete in the traditional Stock and Super Stock divisions, along with the High School Engineering Design Challenge division. The race is presented by The University of Akron College of Engineering.

Bobby Dinkins, Vice President of the Soap Box Derby stated, “The GRC program is growing every year and this year we will have a record number of teams participating. The schools and boys/girls clubs are embracing and expanding their GRC program as a result of the value that they are seeing for the youth they serve in STEM education in the development of life and career skills.” The GRC helps students learn team building, collaboration, problem solving, project management, how to work with tools, testing and refining engineering skills, and communications.

The teams are composed of up to 10 students and educators that have been building and fine tuning their Soap Box Derby cars to see who can build the fastest car. Teams have also been working on an optional contest of a mini Soap Box Derby car race and design competition.

“We are eager to support the growth and development of the next generation of engineers and STEM professionals through our partnership with the Soap Box Derby,” said Donald Visco, Interim Dean of The University of Akron College of Engineering. “The GRC program’s focus on education through hands-on experience aligns extremely well with the experience our engineering students at UA receive.”

In addition to the traditional Stock and Super Stock divisions, high school teams will be competing in the Engineering Design Challenge Division. Teams were provided kits that included the floorboard, axles, wheels, steering and braking systems. They were also given a list of materials they can use in the design and construction of the body. Some are building their car to be the fastest and others want their car to look the best, and be unique in a non-traditional Derby form.

On Thursday, May 18 the race begins at 5:30 p.m. and on Saturday, May 20 the race begins at 8:30 a.m.

Contact the Soap Box Derby for more information:
Telephone:       330.733.8723


About the Soap Box Derby

The Soap Box Derby is an international nonprofit organization whose mission is to build knowledge and character, and to create meaningful experiences through collaboration and fair and honest competition. The Derby’s Core Values and Drivers include: Youth Education and Leadership Development; Family Engagement and Enrichment; Honesty, Integrity and Perseverance; Innovation and Entrepreneurship; Teamwork and Collaboration; Mentoring; Volunteerism; and Commitment to Community. The Derby’s two youth initiatives are the FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby racing program and the STEM-based Education Program, which provides educational opportunities for K-12 youth worldwide through Soap Box Derby racing. The Derby dates back to 1934, when the first All-American race was held in Dayton, Ohio.