FirstEnergyAll-American Soap Box Derby Countdown




While this week’s event will look different from previous years, 11 student teams from grades three through eight will converge at the world-famous Derby Downs in Akron, Ohio, to compete for a victory in the Soap Box Derby Gravity Racing Challenge (GRC) STEM Team Competition. In keeping with safety and COVID protocol to limit the number of people gathered and to ensure social distancing, teams will make their individual runs down the track at pre-scheduled times during the week of May 10 -19, 2021.

The GRC is part of the Derby’s education-based STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) racing initiative that engages students in project-based learning, creative problem solving and team building where teams will compete in the traditional Stock and Super Stock divisions. Created as an in-school or after-school program, the GRC encourages teamwork, problem solving and critical thinking skills. Teams comprised of two adult coaches and three to 10 students, spend the year designing, building, and testing their Soap Box Derby cars with the hopes of bringing home a Gravity Racing Challenge STEM Team Competition trophy.


Participating Schools/Teams

May 10, 8:00a.m. - Coventry Middle School, Coventry Local Schools

May 10, 4:00p.m. - Preston Elementary School, Cuyahoga Falls City Schools

May 11, 8:00a.m. - Austintown Middle School, Austintown Local Schools

May 11, 4:00p.m. - St. Sebastian Parish School, Diocese of Cleveland

May 12, 8:00a.m. - Austintown Middle School, Austin Local Schools

May 12, 4:00a.m. - Manchester Middle School, Manchester Local Schools

May 13, 12:00p.m. - Emanuel Christian Academy

May 13, 4:00p.m. - Louisville Middle School, Louisville Local Schools

May 14, 12:00p.m. - Bridges Learning Center, Akron Public Schools

May 19, 4:00p.m. - Girl Scouts of Northeast Ohio, Troop 50777

May 19, 4:00p.m. - Revere Middle School, Revere Local Schools


“We are excited to have schools participating in the Gravity Racing Challenge this year as we kick off the season here at Derby Downs” said ISBD President and CEO Mark Gerberich. “It is exciting to see the enthusiasm from the students as they utilize STEM techniques in building their cars and really focus on those techniques when driving.”

For more information about the Gravity Racing Challenge STEM Team visit