Grade 5 Billy Carts Made by the Students Themselves!

Grade 5 Billy Carts Made by the Students Themselves!

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Thursday, November 22, 2007

Inquiry a Little Further!

Hi Grade 5,
Well I just found out that our Go Kart is not called Go Kart in Australia. It is called Billy cart. Here is a great article about a Billy cart Derby from an Australian newspaper:

When push comes to shove, school can be flat-out fun

August 10, 2007

THE smell of burning rubber may have been missing, but there was still a sense of fierce competition in the air when 900 children converged on Eastern Creek Raceway for a billycart showdown yesterday.

The event was organised by the NSW Department of Education and Training and the NRMA to teach children about practical design, forces and momentum, teamwork, and basic road safety.

Maxwell Warren, a year 5 student from Kangaroo Valley Public School, was breathless and excited after his team, the 3D Racers, won their heat in the endurance stage.

"While running up that hill I didn't want to look behind me," he said. "There was real pressure. But we were quick with the [rider] changeovers and seatbelts. Our spirit and our teamwork helped us win."

The children designed and built their billy carts in school classes, many starting work more than four months ago.

They were required to follow strict specifications, and teams were encouraged to use recycled materials. As a result, many carts featured wheels salvaged from golf carts, handles from shopping trolleys, and seats made from classroom chairs.

Declan Moore, Maxwell's teammate and a year 6 student, spoke proudly of his team's design.

"Our cart had wheels with ball-bearings which other teams did not have," he said.

"It's built lower to the ground so it's more aerodynamic, and it's a lot easier to push and build momentum. We also used the biggest wheels possible so that [the cart] goes further with each rotation."

Lyndall Foster, of the Department of Education and Training, said: "It's a great day and gives students the feeling that what they are doing in the classroom has meaning in the real world."

The radio announcer Adam Spencer provided lively race commentary throughout the day.

"The kids love it. It's cutting-edge technology, good old-fashioned competition, and there's the joy of watching the sugar wear off at around 2.30pm."

One of the most gracious teams was The Lightning Cart, from Heritage Christian School in Kempsey, who won their heat in the sprint event.

"It went really well," said Amber Wilson-Latimore.

"But the other teams deserve a mention because they put a lot of effort into it, and even though they didn't win they are still to be congratulated."

Here are some other links:

Billycart 1

Billycart 2

Billycart 3

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