Grade: Middle
Subject: Computer

#2769. Virtual Road Rally

Computer, level: Middle
Posted Fri Dec 13 07:52:31 PST 2002 by David Williams (
Materials Required: Internet, Integrated Software Package, US Road Maps
Activity Time: 3 weeks
Concepts Taught: Integrates Internet Searches, Word Processing, Spreadsheets, Geography, Map Skills, Math Skills

Road Rally Project:


Teams of students are invited to compete in the first annual Virtual Road Rally. The Rally promises to be both an exciting and competitive event with prizes being awarded to each of the top finishers. The competition involves each team planning a route across America's highways and backroads via the Internet. For each state line that a team crosses, they will receive prize money. Those teams that earn the most money over a seven day period will be declared the winner. Teams may earn additional money through researching and answering trivia questions that pertain to each state. Each team must be careful in their route and mileage calculations for teams can also be penalized for having errors in their calculations. It is important to note that teams must also deduct fuel consumption from the cash totals. Therefore, selection of vehicles becomes an important component of the pre-race planning. Listed below is a set of rules and guidelines for the competition.

Rules and Guidelines:

o each team of competitors may designate their own starting and finishing points
o competitors may travel no more than 10 hrs a day
o competitors must assume they will travel at an average speed of 50 mph
o all travel must be able to verified through online atlas programs
o the price for each gallon of fuel competitors must use in their calculations is $1.50
o teams must keep accurate logs of their itinerary, mileage, fuel consumption, and prize earnings
o teams will be penalized $10 for each calculation error
o each correctly answered trivia question is worth $50

Stage I
Pre-Race Planning

1. Prior to the commencement of the race, each team of students is required to research and outline two possible route options. The following materials must be submitted for each route option that is being considered.

o written summary including:
-starting point
-stopping point
-estimated miles (use AAA map chart)
-estimated time (use AAA map chart)
-estimated number of states traveled across
-estimated prize earnings

o drawing of the route option

2. Once two possible route options have been evaluated, each team is required to designate the route they intend to use for the competition. This may be either route option or a combination of the two. Each team's selection must be reported to the judges and properly noted in the written summary.

Stage II
Selection Of Vehicles

Each team of students is required to select a vehicle for the virtual road rally. Each team is required to submit a written report to their teacher that includes the following information.

o vehicle of choice
o advantages of vehicle
o disadvantages of the vehicle
o miles per gallon of fuel (highway)
o reference used for information

Stage III
Commencement of the Race

Once the race commences, each team of competitors must work together to record and document their virtual race experience. Each individual teammate must understand that they are a part of team and are responsible for his/her part of the workload. Each team of students is required to submit the following data to the judge when they complete two days of calculations.

1. Mileage Records (See example spreadsheet)
-daily starting points
-daily stopping point
-daily miles traveled
-total miles traveled for entire trip
-daily hours traveled

2. Fuel Consumption Record (See example spreadsheet)
-daily miles traveled
-total miles traveled
-daily fuel consumed (gallons)
-total fuel consumed (gallons)
-daily fuel cost
-total fuel cost

3. Daily Route Description

For each day of travel, teams are required to submit route descriptions of the road or highways on which they traveled. The following websites may prove to be helpful.

4. Daily Journal

Each day spent on the road requires a journal submission. The following elements must be included in this journal entry.
o starting point
o stopping point
o names of states traveled through
o answer to the trivia questions for the states traveled through

Stage IV: Final Report

At the completion of ten days of racing, each team of students is required to submit the following information to the judges.

1. Organized copy of all route directions

2. Final revisions of all spreadsheets
o mileage record
o fuel consumption record

3. Final copy of daily journals

4. Cash Balance Spreadsheet (see example spreadsheet)
- prize money earned (daily)
- trivia money earned (daily)
-total prize earnings (daily)
-fuel deductions (daily)
-remaining cash balance

Competitors will be graded on the following components of the project. It is important to note that those students competing as a team will receive a group grade.
o Stage I Route Options: 20 pts (10 points per route description)
o Stage II: Vehicle Selection: 10 pts
o Stage III: Race Data: 100 pts (points will be awarded based upon prize earnings. see chart for additional information)

$2,000-$3,000 = A 90-100 pts
$1,000-$2,000 = B 80-90 pts
$0 -$1,000 = C 70-80 pts