NC Gravity Games

Western North Carolina Gravity Games Soapbox Races Shift into High Gear for Second Year

Google and ASU look for teams from 30 western NC Counties who want STEM skills to shine

(CALDWELL COUNTY/LENOIR, N.C.) – It’s time for a rematch. Back and better than ever.

Come Saturday, April 28, Google and Appalachian State University (ASU) are teaming up again to co-sponsor the second annual Western North Carolina Gravity Games in downtown Lenoir, starting at 8:30 a.m. The event is free and open to the public.

The Gravity Games is also proud to be an official event of the North Carolina Science Festival, a multi-day celebration showcasing science and technology. As the only state to have a statewide Science Festival, North Carolinians will highlight the educational, cultural and financial impact of science in our state from April 13 to 29.

We’re looking for ambitious and talented  middle and high school students who aren’t afraid of a little speed and are ready use their engineering skills to design, construct and race in their own custom-built soapbox cars. University students, business leaders and community members will also be able to join the fun by making “powered” soapbox cars. There is a limit to how many teams are accepted, so register fast.

Last year, 34 teams from six western North Carolina counties competed. This year, the contest is expanded to include schools from 30 counties: Alexander, Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Cherokee, Clay, Davie, Forsyth, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, McDowell, Macon, Madison, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Stokes, Surry, Swain, Transylvania, Watauga, Wilkes, Yadkin and Yancey.

Competition will be fast, fun and fierce as teams race head-to-head down the streets of Lenoir. The soapbox cars are motorless vehicles capable of racing downhill, using just gravity and potential mechanical energy as the only propulsion mechanisms. This year, teams will be separated into two categories: powered and un-powered.  So be sure to put on your engineering hats and your helmets.

The Gravity Games tie into ASU and Google’s support for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) initiatives. The Gravity Games are a fun, educational, inspirational and competitive hands-on activity based on engineering. The Judging Committee will be comprised of representatives from Google, Appalachian State University, Lenoir public officials and Caldwell County public officials.

Though we want everyone to be as creative as possible, soapbox cars will need to comply with designated safety and design standards. Safety first!

So if you think your team has what it takes to win, please visit to fill out an application. April 15 is the deadline to register a team. There will be a limit of 48 teams for the un-powered division and 20 teams for the powered division.

WHAT: The Western N.C. Gravity Games
WHO: Middle school, high school and college students, business leaders, ASU representatives, N.C.-based Googlers and community members
WHERE: Downtown Lenoir, N.C.
WHEN: April 28, 2012 at 8:30 a.m.


One Comment;

  1. Goldminer Game said:

    Cheating with an electronic aid needs to be punished very severely. Trivia nights being played for money need to disqualify anyone that is caught with a cell phone on their table or inGoldminer Gametheir hands, whether or not it is apparent that the phone has been used to cheat. This harsh punishment is necessary to maintain fairness in the game.

Comments are closed.