NORTH LOGAN – The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) at Utah State University will be hosting a soapbox derby this Saturday at 1 p.m. near the mouth of Green Canyon on 1900 North.
A mix of university students, high school students and community members will make up the 18 teams competing for the $300 prize. ASME already coordinates with North Logan every fall for the annual pumpkin toss, and soapbox derby organizers are hoping this too becomes an annual event.
“They just really loved the idea,” event coordinator Thory Van Dyke said of the North Logan city officials. “They were super willing for us to do whatever they needed to do to get this going.”
The course will be 400 meters long with an additional 100 meters after the finish line to give cars room to stop. Van Dyke said some of the participants have tested their cars on the course, and have hit the 30 mph mark, but he isn’t sure what to expect when race time comes.
“I know it’ll be fun and really entertaining,” he said. “Just with the cars I’ve seen, there should be some close races, a few crashes, but overall just a fun, exciting, new event that hasn’t been done in Logan in a long time.”
Like the trebuchets built for the annual pumpkin toss, Van Dyke said a lot of technical engineering work can go into designing a soapbox racer.
“I know one of the community teams has been working on very complex, very well-engineered cars,” he said, “but there are some other cars that were just thrown together with whatever you have. Some contestants have calculated the weight distribution of their cars, the best steering system or aerodynamics.”
All are invited to come watch the races.