Santa’s Formula One Grand Prix

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Every Christmas, as Santa got older, he found, it became more difficult to cover ground. Every year, around the world seemed much farther. Actually, all Santa wanted, these days, was to stay in bed, rather. Just so he’d remember, he ran thorugh a sleigh MOT at the beginning of each December. Santa checked that all sleigh parts were in working order, before he headed over the Swiss border. Despite the icy mist, Santa could still just about see his Winter checklist. The only trouble was, every Christmas, the list got covered in even more oil splashes, spilled by Santa as his sleigh crashes. Here is the list that Santa wrote – if he didn’t do these jobs, the sleigh would never stay afloat.

Santa’s Sleigh Checklist

1. Pump up the t __ res.

2. Polish the headl __ __ __ s.

3. Ch __ __ __ the oil.

4. Put n __ w bulbs into the l __ ghts.

5. Oil the h __ ndbr __ ke.

6. Test the gu __ ges – sp __ ed, te __ perature, pe __ rol and oil.

7. Make sure that the __ adio tran __ mittor is working.

8. Clean the mirro __ s.

9. Fix the windscr __ __ n wipers.

10. Pack all the pr __ sents into the bo __ t.

But one particular Christmas, when Santa was about to go, he realised that the sleigh was completely stuck in snow. What could Santa do ? He was in a fix with his unfixed sleigh and the carburettor was broken in two ! First, Santa decided to put an advertisement into the local gazette – to see if anyone had a spare bus pass or a second hand bike that he could get. But not one person responded at all – so it looked like Santa would spend his Christmas with Humpty Dumpty, sat on a wall ! Then, Rudolph, had a cracking idea … not bad for a slacking, speed – lacking deer ! : to get all the Santaland elves to join in a race – and find which was the best motor to rocket out of the place. Santa handed out tickets, which said, come on Saturday.

On the big day, Santa watched for the Grand Prix team to arrive – some of them were walking and cycling, but others decided to drive. Gerome the gnome brought his skis (but he arrived in such a rush, he soon skidded to his knees !). Mo the Eskimo brought his bobsleigh (but was disqualified, because there was a petrol strike on that day !).

He quickly substituted his bobsleigh for something a little more wind – powered … racing in a wheelbarrow motor as Santa glowered. The robin redbreast decided to fly (but the Grand Prix wasn’t an air race, and he got covered in snowflakes falling from the sky !). All the contestants lined up on the starting line, waiting for the pistol to shoot – the “go” sign. Off they set, as fast as they could. Three elves zoomed ahead and another headed off into the wood. But, it seemed that just as Santa’s sleigh had been left all Winter to rust, all of the vehicles were covered in dust ! From the race burst clouds of smoke – BANG ! BANG ! the engines chugged and the whole forest awoke. The snowman’s bicycle creaked and the oil on Mrs. Christmas’s formula one vacuum cleaner leaked. As Santa’s exhaust began to explode, another screw dropped onto the road. Would any of them be strong enough to carry Santa’s heavy Christmas present load ?!

Whilst Santa went quickly around the bend, the Christmas fairy waved her magic wand so the sleigh wheel might mend. Thank heaven, her Christmas magic started to work quite fast. The next time that Santa revved his engine, he zoomed past with a “BLAST !”. But, nevertheless, Mo the Eskimo’s motor was the most molecular and raced around the corner the most spectacular ! So that settled it – the wheelbarrow was the winner ! Santa quickly delivered all the presents around the world (and still managed to make it home for Christmas dinner !).

Formula One Maths

Give a brief definition of a maths “formula” – when, why and how can they be used ?

Just The Right Formula

Santa’s Grand Prix race was 1 km long and lasted one hour. Only those that do pass the finishing line. Incorrect sums do not. What are the answers to the sums and which of Santa’s Grand Prix racers, therefore, finish the race on time ( = 1) ?

1. Gerome the Gnome on skis = 10 – 8 – 4 + 2 = ?

2. Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall = 100 / 10 – 10 = ?

3. Mo the Eskimo on his bobsleigh = 0.2 km in 20 minutes = ?

4. Mo the Eskimo on a wheelbarrow = travelling at a speed of 16.6 m per minute = ?

5. The robin redbreast (on a snowy gust of wind) = 0.5 km in 30 mins = ?

6. Mrs. Christmas on a formula 1 vacuum cleaner = 200 m per 10 mins = ?

7. Santa on his sleigh = 0.4 km in 15 minutes (but he stopped for 15 minutes) = ?

© Jacqueline Richards 2008

Game 1 Answers :

1. Pump up the tyres.

2. Polish the headlamps.

3. Check the oil.

4. Put new bulbs into the lights.

5. Oil the handbrake.

6. Test the guages – speed, temperature, petrol and oil.

7. Make sure that the radio transmittor is working.

8. Clean the mirrors.

9. Fix the windscreen wipers.

10. Pack all the presents into the boot.

Game 2 Answers :

1. 0 = no

2. 0 = no

3. 0.2 x 3 = 0.6 km in 1 hour = no

4. 16.6 x 600 = 1000 m = 1 km in 1 hour = yes

5. 0.5 x 2 = 1 km in 1 hour = yes

6. 6 x 200 = 1200m = 1.2 km in 1 hour = yes

7. 0.4 x 3 = 1.2 km in 1 hour = yes

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