Brooklyn Kids Hit The Streets For Annual South Slope Soap Box Derby

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Some special cars took over the streets of Brooklyn on Saturday.

Roughly 50 Brooklyn kids, ages 7 to 14, showed off their unique inventions in the 10th annual South Slope Soap Box Derby.

As CBS2’s Reena Roy reported, they sped down 17th Street, dodging tires on the racecourse between Fifth and Six avenues trying to beat the competition.

“I’m excited,” one boy said.

“I’m really excited and happy,” a little girl added.

It was their big moment to test out what they’ve been working on for the past few days and weeks in their summer derby workshop with the non-profit Koko NYC.

Some put last minute touches on their apparatuses, double checking to ensure they’d make it all the way to the finish line. But of course, anything innovative has a couple bumps in the road.

“I didn’t even take it for a test run yet, so I don’t know if it’s going to be fast,” said Felix Engelking.

The kids got pretty creative when crafting their cars – from traditional woodworking, a piece of luggage, and even a table.

“I learned how to use power tools and how to put stuff together to actually make something,” Marley Defilippis said.

“It teaches me to get more active and do more stuff instead of just playing video games,” said Julian Alfonzo.

The event showed the little ones the importance of getting hands on and getting outside in the digital age.

“I think it’s a lot of fun but it also gives them a sense of ownership, and while they’re building they feel like they’re really in charge,” Koko NYC summer workshop director Monika Wuhrer said.

The cars were judged on engineering, design, speed and creativity. But in the end, just making it to the finish line was a prize in itself.

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