First Annual Gorge Gravity Games Comes to The Dalles on Saturday, October 20

October 5, 2012

Google and Columbia Gorge Community College have teamed up to host the first annual Gorge Gravity Games in downtown The Dalles, Oregon on Saturday, October 20.

20 student teams from public and private middle and high schools in Wasco, Sherman, Hood River, Klickitat, and Skamania counties will be converging in downtown The Dalles to compete in this unique downhill soap box racing derby race through downtown. They will be going wheel to wheel along the 5-block-long course on Court Street in handcrafted soap box derby cars powered only by gravity. Each car was designed and constructed by the students.

This unique event is designed to promote the excitement of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) to students through real-life experience.

“We want to inspire students to pursue the fantastic jobs and careers to be had in the technology, engineering, science and math fields. For our future to be successful, our nation and region needs more STEM graduates,” said Dave Karlson, site manager of Google’s data center in The Dalles.

“We are proud to partner with Columbia Gorge Community College, the Gorge Technology Alliance, the City of The Dalles and local schools on the first-ever Gorge Gravity Games and can’t wait to see the cars the student teams have built. Let the racing  begin!”          

The Judging Committee will be comprised of representatives from Google, Columbia Gorge Community College, and The Dalles public officials. This committee will be responsible for inspecting each car, participant, and racetrack for adequate safety and security, and for determining the winner of each race. Officials from the Salem Soap Box Derby Association are helping to set up the race.

Throughout the day, there will be a STEM Fair on 4th and Court Streets for the public to explore, featuring robotics and wind energy demonstrations, with participants including the Insitu, the OSU Robotics Club, Techstart Foundation, the Trout Lake High School Iron Mustangs Robotics Club, Students Recycling Used Technology, the Gorge Technology Alliance and others. Vendors will also be selling food.

The day will culminate with an awards ceremony for the race winners on 4th and Court Streets.

Registration begins at 8 am. Racing and the STEM Fair is from 10 am to 4 pm. The event takes place at 6th and Court Street in The Dalles.