Most Akronites are familiar with the All-American Soap Box Derby's annual race at Derby Downs in July.
But you may not be familiar with a second race at Derby Downs each year...where the goal is not just to win at the bottom of the hill, but to learn.
The Gravity Racing Challenge was held Saturday, which has grown in three years from a handful of racers to nearly 70 taking part in the 2012 contest.
Students taking part learn as part of the "STEM" curriculum - Science, Technology, Engineering and Math - to learn what makes those soap box cars roll faster down the hill.
It's not just gravity, "STEM" students find out...it's factoring in things like weight and the wheels on the cars.
After all the science, math and engineering, the kids get to participate in the Gravity Racing Challenge, getting first hand experience on how all the numbers, measurements and calculation translate into real life racing.
FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby president/CEO Joe Mazur tells AkronNewsNow.com that he got the idea for the program from the "FirstRobotics" and "FirstLego" programs at an arena he used to run.
Mazur says those programs teach "STEM" concepts by building robotics for older kids, and by legos for younger kids.
He calls the Derby's GRC program "like those programs on wheels".
It's the first of it's kind in Ohio.
Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED) will be sharing their campus in Rootstown with high school freshman attending the Bio-Med Science Academy.
The Akron Beacon Journal reports the academy will be sponsored by the Rootstown school district as a charter school focusing on medical studies.
It will be located on the university campus which is across the street from Rootstown High School.
The school will teach STEM disciplines of science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine.
Students will be able to work with college students and in university laboratories.
The creation of the school was approved by the school board on Monday. It will open next fall to Portage County students.
On the Web: www.ohio.com
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