The Soap Box Derby will host its 8th annual Gravity Racing Challenge STEM Team Competition presented by the University of Akron at Akron Derby Downs, 1000 George Washington Blvd., May 18 and 20.

• May 18 at 5:30 p.m. — High School Super Stock and Engineering Design Challenge Races.
• May 20 — Grade School, Middle School, and Junior High Teams. 8:15 a.m., opening ceremony; 8:30 a.m., Collegiate Engineering Design Challenge and Stock Race; 12:30 p.m., Super Stock Race; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., free STEM fair iopen to the public.

More than 180 teams from three states are set to compete in the Soap Box Derby’s Gravity Racing Challenge© (GRC) STEM Team.

Munroe Elemenary School is among the competitiors.

The competition is presented by the University of Akron College of Engineering.

On May 18 and 20 teams will compete in the  traditional Stock and Super Stock divisions, along with the High School Engineering Design Challenge division. Three teams representing The University of Akron College Of Engineering will kick off the festivities Saturday in a special Collegiate Engineering Design Challenge Competition. The race is presented by The University of Akron College of Engineering.
Bobby Dinkins, vice president 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.
“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.”
In addition to the traditional Stock and Super Stock divisions, several high school teams will be competing in the Engineering Design  Challenge. Teams were provided kits that included a floorboard, axles, wheels, steering and braking systems. They were also given a list of materials they could 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.