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 Time Warner Cable

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More than 175 teams from three states are set to compete in the Soap Box Derby’s Gravity Racing Challenge© (GRC) STEM Team Competition presented by Time Warner Cable. On May 12th and 14th teams will compete in the traditional Stock and Super Stock divisions, along with the High School Open  Class division. The race is presented by Time Warner Cable through its Connect A Million Minds Program.

Joe Mazur, President/CEO 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 the optional contests that include photography, writing a press release, mini Soap Box Derby car race and design, creating an infomercial, and poster contest.

 “We are proud to support one of this area’s most unique, popular and exciting events,” said Time Warner Cable Vice President of Operations John Higgins. “The Gravity Racing Challenge is a great way to show our youth that STEM can be fun and exhilarating.”

In addition to the traditional Stock and Super Stock divisions, high school teams will be competing in the Open Class 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 12 the race begins at 5:30 p.m. and on Saturday, May 14 the race begins at 8:30 a.m.

The Soap Box Derby will also be hosting a FREE STEM Fair that is held in conjunction with the Soap Box Derby Gravity Racing Challenge Team Competition. The FREE STEM Fair is open to the community and provides the opportunity for participants of all ages to partake in fun educational and interactive activities presented by more than 20 businesses and educators.  The FREE STEM Fair will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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.