A soapbox derby is igniting interest among high school students in problem solving, and a chance to apply science, technology, engineering and math to solve problems.

Soapbox DerbyIt’s become an adult thing in recent years, but when Bibb County high school students competed in a special project, it was the first time in over 60 years that such interaction happened.

Teams from seven high schools in the region coasted down Magnolia Street.  The winner was Westside High School, with a winning time of 10.36 seconds.

The high school race was called the Gravity Defying Challenge, and it was about more than fun.  The kits that were used to build the cars were paid for with a grant from the Knight Foundation.  The objective was clear – give students an opportunity to apply STEM knowledge and approaches to solve the problem of building the fastest soapbox car.

The kits were the same, but students could expand upon the kit design.  Some added weight in different parts of the car to give it more momentum.

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A soapbox derby is igniting interest among high school students in problem solving, and a chance to apply science, technology, engineering and math to solve problems.