Westbury Town Council in Wiltshire, with assistance from the Institution of Engineering Designers, is organising a soapbox derby and engineering fair. Engineering stakeholders from across the country are being invited to get involved in the event, which is due to take place on 21 May.
According to the organisers, White Horse Soapbox Derby will serve as the first outdoor, all-action engineering fair in the UK. They hope to make the derby a nationally recognised, important and unique engineering event and fair.
Racers will compete on one of the steepest and most challenging courses in the UK, hurtling down the picturesque chalk escarpment at Bratton Camp above Westbury. The 450-metre course has an average gradient of 8.4 per cent and a maximum gradient of 18.4 per cent. Competitors are expected to reach a top speed of about 80 km/h.
Bratton Camp is an Iron Age Hill Fort – an early example of historical engineering – and teams are being asked to decorate their vehicles according to a historical engineering theme: from the Pyramids to Viking ships and everything in between.
In addition to the main race, the White Horse Soapbox Junior Derby will challenge primary school children to ‘drag race’ their self-propelled cars over 30 metres.
Westbury Town Council has a history of involvement in STEM learning. During lockdown, the council worked alongside Lockheed Martin to bring world-class STEM workshops that concentrated on coding principles, to Westbury’s primary schools.
According to the organisers, Westbury is one of the most disadvantaged towns in the Southwest, with child poverty rates ten per cent higher than the national average. They hope that by providing a practical introduction to STEM training and offering clear pathways to engineering apprenticeships and graduate jobs,the event will inspire young people to learn new skills and raise their aspirations.
Entry details and further information, including options for potential sponsors can be found here. Organisations that would like to have a stand at the event should call Ryan on 07766 921 105 or [email protected].