Sunday, June 28, 2015

Time Zones and Math

Travel, Suitcase, Airport, LuggageToday's post came in the middle of my trip.  I am on my way to Michigan and as I checked my itinerary I discovered a beautiful warm up problem.

The warm up question is "How can I leave Grand Rapids, MI and arrive in Chicago, IL, one minute apart?"  To answer this question, a student needs to know the two cities are in  two different time zones in addition to being in two different states.  I could even ask how long the trip is between the two cities. 

Aircraft, Commercial, Parked  Any questions involving travel and time zones require students to use higher order thinking skills because of the time zones involved.

Another problem I could ask would be "If you take off from Honolulu, Hawaii at 9:30 PM and the trip is 5 1/2 hours long, at about what time would you land in Anchorage, Alaska?  This requires students to know that Alaska is two time zones ahead of Hawaii during the summer.  If the trip happens in winter, the time change is only one hour.

Aircraft, Commercial, ParkedWhich brings us to the fact that only two states and part of another state do not participate in daylight savings time, so if you asked a question involving one of those places, it could add another twist to the problem.

I think that I could look up some real flight schedules for various airlines and have students calculate the flight time so they know about how long the flight will be based on the information given.

So many possibilities.  I am already planning on using these types of problems.