Get Ready to Go Racing
May 5, 2020
Each year, aspiring racers from around the world gather in Akron for the FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby. With more families spending time together due to the COVID-19 health emergency, the International Soap Box Derby® (ISBD) organization has created a series of activities to help young people learn the basics of car racing design and engineering from the comfort of their own homes. Some of the activities include:
Children can construct, test and race a 1/13 scale model of a Soap Box Derby car. The program – designed for students in first to sixth grade – includes activity books and instructions on how to assemble the mini-car, and it teaches kids about derby history, tool safety, and how weight affects the speed of cars.
The programmable, autonomous digiRacer car gives kids a taste of real-world engineering while they demonstrate their building and coding skills. Students can assemble and program their digiRacer to follow a specific path down a slope powered only by gravity.
Full-Size Derby Car
It wouldn’t be the Soap Box Derby if kids didn’t have the chance to build a real derby car. This hands-on program includes all the parts needed to construct a full-size derby car, plus an activity book and instruction guide to help students fine-tune their creation.
All ISBD at-home activities encourage the use of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) concepts such as critical thinking, problem solving, research, design and creating prototypes, as well as basic friction, speed and math principles, according to FirstEnergy’s Mark Mroczynski, vice president, Construction & Design Services, and chair of the Soap Box Derby Board of Directors.
“The mission of the ISBD is to build knowledge and character, and to create meaningful experiences through fair and honest racing competitions, STEM curriculums, and other community-focused activities,” said Mark. “In addition to encouraging family time, these at-home activities will help young people gain self-confidence as they learn about science principles and how to safely use various tools.”