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Thank You Thursday - The University of Akron College of Engineering


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In 2015 faculty in the College of Engineering and the LeBron James Family Foundation College of Education at The University of Akron (UA) were awarded a $742,356 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to partner with the International Soap Box Derby and Akron Public Schools (APS) to formally design, integrate and evaluate the impact of curriculum around the Soap Box Derby Mini Cars that includes the use of computer-aided design (CAD) software, virtual and physical wind tunnel testing and 3D printers.

Over the last two years eighth grade science students in APS got a firsthand experience in engineering design and testing thanks to the partnership. Students in additional APS buildings will get the opportunity to take part in the program this coming fall.

This past March UA President Matthew J. Wilson announced that UA’s College of Engineering is partnering with the Derby on its Gravity Racing Challenge (GRC) STEM Team Competition. The College has been named the presenting sponsor of the competitions held in Akron, Cleveland, Columbus and Marysville, Ohio. 

“This is a collaboration we believe will help more students not only become proficient in STEM subjects, but also excited about them,” said UA President Wilson.

More than 180 teams from three states are set to compete in this year’s Akron GRC STEM Team Competition presented by The University of Akron College of Engineering. Today high school teams compete in the Super Stock and High School Engineering Design Challenge Divisions. On Saturday, May 20th grade school, middle school and junior high teams will compete in the traditional Stock and Super Stock divisions. In addition, three teams from the University of Akron will compete in the Collegiate Engineering Design Challenge division.

“We look forward to exposing more students to our STEM-based education programs through our collaboration,” said Soap Box Derby Vice President Bobby Dinkins. “We’ve partnered with the College of Engineering on several projects recently and feel this is a perfect fit because so many of the kids who become involved with Soap Box Derby racing are future engineers.”

The GRC helps students learn team building, collaboration, problem solving, project management, how to work with tools, testing and refining engineering skills, and communications.

“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.”

The Derby would like to say THANK YOU to The University of Akron College of Engineering for helping us continue our mission of building knowledge and character, and creating meaningful experiences through collaboration and fair and honest competition.

This is the 34th installment of our weekly “Thank You Thursday” feature. Each week we will offer a heartfelt “Thank You” to a corporation, civic or community leader, volunteer, foundation or an individual who has helped us continue our mission. To view previous features please click below.

Thank You Thursday
Thursday, September 29, 2016 - FirstEnergy Corp.
Thursday, October 6, 2016 - Don Plusquellic
Thursday, October 13, 2016 - Bill Ginter
Thursday, October 20, 2016 - Marous Brothers Construction
Thursday, October 27, 2016 - Meggitt Aircraft Braking Systems
Thursday, November 3, 2016 - Myers Industries
Thursday, November 10, 2016 - Outgoing Board Members
Thursday, November 17, 2016 - New Board Members
Thursday. November 24, 2016 - Volunteers
Thursday, December 1, 2016 - Dairy Queen 
Thursday, December 8, 2016 - Curriculum Funders
Thursday, December 15, 2016 - SUBWAY®
Thursday, December 22, 2016 - Will Looman
Thursday, December 29, 2016 - Taylor Made Jewelry
Thursday, January 5, 2017 - Greater Akron Chamber
Thursday, January 12, 2017 - Bob Troyer
Thursday, January 19, 2017 - GPD Group
Thursday, January 26, 2017 - Former Summit County Executive Russ Pry and the County of Summit, Ohio
Thursday, February 2, 2017 - Pilot Flying J
Thursday, February 9, 2017 - Dave Hubbell
Thursday, February 16, 2017 - AAA Akron Auto Club 
Thursday, February 23, 2017 - Danny Hughes
Thursday, March 2, 2017 - Corbin Bernsen
Thursday, March 9, 2017 - Dave Lieberth 
Thursday, March 16, 2017 - Joe Mazur
Thursday, March 23, 2017 - Mary S. and David C. Corbin Foundation
Thursday, March 30, 2017 - Chris Harris
Thursday, April 6, 2017 - Northern Ohio Golf Charities & Foundation 
Thursday, April 13, 2017 - J.W. Didado Electric

Thursday, April 20, 2017 - Welty Family Foundation 
Thursday, April 27, 2017 - Fallsway Equipment Company 
Thursday, May 4, 2017 - United Way of Summit County
Thursday, May 11, 2017 - Akron/Summit Convention & Visitors Bureau