Inaugural River City Soap Box Derby held in Columbus

By Jose Zozaya

From WTVM, Columbus, Georgia

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) – Soap Box racing made a comeback in the Fountain City!

In the inaugural River City Soap Box Derby held Saturday, student racers got the chance to get behind the wheel of a derby car they made themselves using their science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) learning.

“I thought it’d be horrifying,” said 12-year-old racer and student Jaylen Fairris, “but it’s really exhilarating and exciting.”

Let’s Grow STEAMx CEO/President Robbie Branscomb told News Leader 9 she felt there was a need for these types of activities for kids, something, she said, that would allow them to take what they’re learning in the classroom, and make it fun and engaging.

“A daunting task, I’ll say that, but it felt like it was very worthwhile to do so,” Branscomb said.

Several generations of former Derby champs lined the sidewalks along Cherokee Avenue, ranging from Stan Howard in the 1950s to Bobby Thomas, who won his derby race in the 90s. Both say they’re glad knowing derby racing may come back for good.

“The soap box derby is for every kid,” Howard said. “You don’t have to be an athlete, and the family participation is great. You meet a lot of good people because it’s families.”

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