Formula Goblin Club gives Year 6 pupils the opportunity to build their very own functioning and drivable electric go-kart.
The kart is assembled from kit-form, where the pupils split off into various teams to build the chassis, axles, steering mechanism and electrical system. The build introduces children to basic mechanics and on completion they have the opportunity to train and compete against other schools from across the country.
The ‘TABinator’ (as the go-kart has been aptly named) may be frequently seen jetting about the school grounds as the pupils practise and train themselves up for the competitive events.
Please see below for photographs of the building process and some of the events we have competed in.
At our first session of the Formula Goblin Club, Abi P, Louie, Gus, Samuel, Sam and I saw only the chassis of the go-kart built and we carried on the building process from there, in order to have built the TABinator (and have had a few practice drives each) in time for our first competition at the Portsmouth naval base. We all, including Mr Watson, thoroughly enjoyed building and test-driving the Goblin. The week before our first competition in Portsmouth, we had achieved our goal and had completely finished the go-kart.
When we had all arrived at our first competition, we made our final checks of the Goblin: we greased the bearings and, making sure which race was first, slightly let down the tyres for the slalom so that they would have better grip. We pumped them up again for the drag races after we had finished the slalom.
In the slalom, Louie went first, but accidentally missed all the gates, giving him a minute’s penalty, as he went around the wrong cone to begin with. However, we were all proud of him for doing his best; we still had five turns at the slalom and they only take your best score - which Louie got in his second race anyway! After the slalom, we went on to the drag race. We won the majority of our races, and got some fast times; we were all pleased with our performance (Abi P especially as she got the fastest time for our school).
After lunch, we took part in the circuit race, which was the last event. In the circuit race there are three rounds: the heats, the semi-finals and the finals. We all got to vote for who we thought the fastest driver was, so that they could compete in the circuit race - we chose Louie. We were the first team ready for our heat, so got the first pick out of three cards that had the numbers of the lanes on them turned upside-down. Our team picked out the number two, which was the middle lane. We all cheered as loud as we could for him and Louie came in a close second, which meant we didn’t get to move on to the semi-finals, but the Goblin that we came second to was eventually the winner of the entire circuit race, so at least we knew we came second to the best in that race! Sadly, we didn’t win any trophies, but we all had lots of fun and that’s what matters. For our next race in April, we will be practising to get faster and hopefully next time we will bring back some trophies!
By Abi, 6EE