COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - This weekend more than 20 local youths put their skills and determination to the test at the Let’s Grow Steamx’s third annual River City Soap Box Derby at Lakebottom Park.
Columbus is one of only three cities in Georgia to have a Soap Box Derby program and participants say they absolutely love being a part of the unique and exciting competition.
Saturday included two big events: the educational race and the local race. Contestants, ages seven to 13, raced for the coveted top spots and the cash prizes that came along with them.
While the races lasted only seconds, work for the competition began months ago. Contestants have been building and perfecting their cars ever since.
Leaders and competitors alike say they love the building and learning process. Over the course of construction, the young adults learned engineering and math concepts as well as how to use a variety of different tools.
Let’s Grow Steamx board chairman, David Britt, said he enjoys seeing the kids learn while having fun.
"And you see that light come on in their head learning how to screw screwdrivers and how that goes into how to build a brake and how that goes into how to fix steering, so they’re learning engineering. They’re learning how things work and they’re not even realizing that they’re doing educational stuff and they’re having fun doing it,” Britt said.
The event had plenty of other fun things to enjoy too including food vendors, games, inflatables, face painting and relay activities with prizes. Attendees could even enjoy a special street science exhibit hosted by the Cola Space Science Center, Columbus Tech and the Columbus Museum.
The winners of the local race will head to Akron, Ohio to compete against racers from across the world.