FirstEnergyAll-American Soap Box Derby Countdown


Soap Box Derby Receives Stem Education Grant From The Summit County Community Development Block Grant Program


The International Soap Box Derby® (ISBD) has received a $21,000-grant from the Summit County Community Development Grant program for placement of the Soap Box Derby STEM Mini Car program in area schools.

As the result of this grant award, more than 485 students in three Summit County school districts will have the opportunity to participate in this Soap Box Derby’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) program designed for third through sixth grades.

Sixth grade students from Green Intermediate School and fifth grade students from Manchester Middle School and O.H. Somers Elementary School in Mogadore will be able to construct, test, and race a 1/13scale model of a Soap Box Derby car. These schools will receive the Soap Box Derby STEM Mini Car student activity booklets, teacher guides, tool kits and other resources. 

Through this Summit County Community Development Block Grant, the International Soap Box Derby continues its mission to “educate and inspire youth.”  The Derby’s commitment to its mission has resulted in the development of several Soap Box Derby STEM education programs, including the Gravity Racing Challenge STEM Team Competition presented by the University of Akron College of Engineering.

Green Intermediate School, STEM educator, Pamela Anderson said, “The Soap Box Derby has been a part of the Akron area for many decades and due to the Community Development Block Grant, our sixth graders at Green Intermediate Schools will now have a strong connection to this program.  The students will be designing and racing Soap Box Derby Mini-Cars. We also will be sending racing teams to the GRC. This is an exciting adventure for our students.”

“The County of Summit is a proud supporter of Soap Box Derby and its STEM-based curriculum program,” said Summit County Executive Ilene Shapiro. “With support from the County, Soap Box Derby has implemented a STEM program in these local middle schools. This program uses the tools and values of Soap Box Derby racing to introduce STEM to students in an enjoyable, engaging way. Programs like this are preparing our students for a changing world and economy.”

Mark Gerberich, ISBD president and chief executive officer, said, “We are excited to be able to impact these schools in Mogadore, Manchester and Green. This hands-on learning gives real life experiences to the classroom for these students.”