A CIESE Realtime Data Project

Realtime Lesson # 4

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LESSON #4: Faster than a speeding slug
Teacher's Guide for Lesson #4

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Objective: In this lesson you will determine how far you have traveled between your last two known locations, how long it took to travel that distance and the speed of the ship.


Part One: Determine distance traveled 

  1. Take out Handout #4 (click on the link above to print out a copy of the handout if needed)
  2. Follow the link to the " Distance Calculator ".
  3. On the "To" line enter in the latitude and longitude coordinates for the Current Position of the ship.
  4. On the "From" line enter in the latitude and longitude coordinates for the Previous Position #4 of the ship.
  5. Make sure that you follow the instructions on how to enter in the coordinates given to you by your teacher.
  6. Click on the button at the bottom of the Distance Calculator that reads "Look it up!"
  7. Record the distance that your ship has travel on Handout #3.
  8. OPTIONAL: If time permits you can also click on the link to "See these places on a map" to view a map with the two locations automatically plotted on it.  You can "zoom out" on this map by scrolling down on the page and selecting one of the zoom out factors (e.g. 1/10, 1/25, etc.).  You can use this to check your own paper-based map. 

Part Two: Determine travel time 

  1. Look back at Handout #2 and note the time and date for the Current Position and the Previous Position #4 .
  2. The difference between these two times is the time it took the ship to travel from previous position to its current position.  This is the travel time.
  3. Record the travel time on Handout #4.

Part Three: Calculate the speed of the ship

  1. Work with your teacher to calculate the speed of the ship based on the distance it traveled and the time that it took to travel that distance.
  2. Record the speed of the ship on Handout #4.