The International Soap Box Derby and Western Reserve Public Media have entered into an agreement to expand educational offerings through the Derby’s STEM education based Gravity Racing Challenge® Program.

The Derby’s GRC education program uses the tools and values of Soap Box Derby® racing to introduce Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) to students in an enjoyable, engaging way. The program is designed to provide K-12 educators and students with project- and standards-based, inter-curricular learning opportunities.

“We’re excited to partner with Western Reserve Public Media,” said Derby President & CEO Joe Mazur. “The GRC program has grown the past few years and now it’s time to take it to a new level. With this partnership we’ll now be able to provide educators with a learning portal that meets today’s educational standards.”

The Educational Services staff at Western Reserve Public Media will use the Soap Box Derby theme to develop a kit of resources and activities that link to Ohio Department of Education standards for fifth graders. Following STEM standards, the project will include videos, lesson plans, activities, background resources, assessments and professional development opportunities. Barbara Moore of Western Reserve Public Media will serve as grant program manager for the project.

“We are happy to have been chosen to partner with International Soap Box Derby on this project,” said Jeff Good, director of education at Western Reserve Public Media. “For years, we have specialized in developing educational resources that satisfy mandated educational standards. For this project, we will create a learning portal that will lead a teacher through 20 days of instruction in meeting a series of educational standards. In addition, we will work with the Soap Box Derby staff to produce educational kits that will be available for purchase by school districts in March 2015.”