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Appalachian and Google co-sponsor first Gravity Games Soapbox Race Nov. 19

BOONE –Appalachian State University and Google are co-sponsoring the first-ever Western North Carolina Gravity Games Soapbox Race in downtown Lenoir on Saturday, Nov. 19.

Teams off all ages will race starting at 8:30 a.m. from the top of Church Street in Lenoir.

The best, brightest and most courageous teams from area middle and high schools, colleges and businesses will use their engineering skills to design, construct and race in their own custom-built soapbox cars.

Think you’ve got what it takes to win? Then register your team today. The deadline is Oct. 19 to fill the 20 team spots in each category; middle school, high school and the open division for university, corporate and private.

Appalachian and Google are seeking teams from Alleghany, Avery, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba and Watauga counties. The event is free and open to the public, and prizes and trophies will be awarded based on speed and creativity.

Competition will be fast, fun and fierce.

Soapbox cars are motorless vehicles capable of racing downhill, using just gravity and potential mechanical energy as the only propulsion mechanisms. So, no engines allowed. But colored wigs and helmets are a must.

The Gravity Games tie into Appalachian’s and Google’s support for science, math, technology and engineering (STEM) initiatives. Google is committed to developing North Carolina’s future workforce through its community relations activities and STEM initiatives.

The Gravity Games will be a fun, educational, inspirational and competitive hands-on activity on basic engineering. Appalachian physics and technology graduate students and Googlers from the data center in Lenoir will be mentors for the teams.

The judging committee will be comprised of representatives from Google, Appalachian State University, and Lenoir and Caldwell County public officials.

Soapbox cars will need to comply with designated safety and design standards. Safety first!

For more information, contact Carla Ramsdell at 828-262-8475 or ramsdellcs@appstate.edu.