The 15th and 16th of June saw the annual Greenpower trip up to Scotland for the IET Formula 24 heat and the local Goblin event for junior schools.
Day 1 was the senior school event, with teams from as far away as Ullapool and Thurso making the trip down to Aberdeenshire. The event had been expertly organised by Stem Inspire’s Frances Chapman and hosted by probably the friendliest museum in the UK – well worth the visit if you ever find yourself in the area. Frances had arranged support both in the form of very generous sponsorship and large numbers of keen and knowledgeable volunteers from the engineering giant Taqa.
The heat took place in cool, damp conditions (having missed the March heatwave) with a slippery and small track challenging the engineering and driving skills of the teams. The line-up presented us with perhaps the widest variety of cars we have seen all year, with circuit veterans Alford Nimble Sparrow lining up against the exciting new twin hull from Ullapool, Insane Bolt. This new car looked like it was going to be a serious contender but was thwarted on the day by the cramped circuit, with local knowledge paying off for last year’s winners, the home team Alford Rocket repeating last year’s winning run.
The next day saw the arrival of the junior school Goblins with enthusiastic teams coming from even further afield than their senior school counterparts including one team from Orkney. This year’s junior event was supported by the John Lewis Partnership, testimony to the impact the Greenpower challenge has been having on the teaching and learning of science, technology, engineering and mathematics in schools, as well as the general impact the programme has on behaviour and attitude in younger children.
With two sets of drag races and two slaloms running simultaneously it was a busy morning for a small but dedicated band of volunteers. Competition was fierce and all the schools managed to get all of their races completed. The afternoon session saw the whole of the Alford race track being used for the sprint race, with teams completing two laps of the circuit. The fastest qualifiers then competed in a final, with one team, Dunecht, who had been up with the leaders of the slalom and drag racing also taking the afternoon’s honours. Along with bagging the prize for Best Portfolio this led to them having an unassailable lead and becoming the day’s Overall Winners.
The day’s racing was finished off with a wonderful lap of honour by all the Goblins led by two fantastic Nissan Leaf pure electric cars and a Mitsubishi iMiEV. The prizes were then given out by local MSP, Alex Johnstone and Pam Calder from the John Lewis Partnership.