Real Life Math - Lesson 2
Calculate Driving Time
Objective: To calculate the estimated driving time to travel to a specified destination by car. Use a road atlas to map out your route. Calculate average speed and account for necessary stops. Include a copy of a map with your chosen route highlighted and complete the worksheet below for each day of driving.
Princess enjoyed this activity a lot. She chose Walt Disney World as her destination, and was very precise with choosing her route. She had several options, and thought about the pros and cons of each, ultimately choosing to stay on major highways for as much of the trip as possible. Once she had the route chosen and highlighted in our atlas, we used the worksheet to write the actual directions. Next, she used the map scale to estimate the distance for each section of road in her directions. Once she had completed that using the atlas, we went online and used Google Maps to compare her results with the actual mileage for each section. We decided to use an average speed of 60 mph for the entire trip, based on the majority of the driving being on major highways. Next, Princess added up the total miles and, using the speed of 60 mph, calculated the actual driving time for the trip. Lastly, she created a daily schedule and calculated the number of dining, restroom & gas stops for each day of the trip. This ultimately gave her a perfect picture of how long the trip would take.
The best part is that if we ever decide to drive to Disney World, Princess has already done all of the planning for the drive!
This was a very fun and practical Real Life Math activity. While Google Maps and navigation systems are great, I think it is so important for children to learn to use an actual map/atlas. This is still our preferred method for longer road trips. In addition to map skills, this activity also provides exceptional applications in real life math.