Have you ever heard a student ask the question, “why are we even learning this?” And from there, they typically follow it up with, “it’s not like we’re ever going to need to know how to do this in life!” As educators, we often strive to make our curriculum as engaging and interactive as possible. Furthermore, we aim toward providing real-life examples and learning opportunities. There is no doubt that the Iditarod provides ample opportunities to make real-life connections and it consistently captivates students at all grade levels.
In middle school, students are required and challenged with learning how to summarize sets of data. The Iditarod race archives provide years’ of statistics and data which students can analyze on various levels! Use this math lesson with your students and have them summarize the mushers’ race statistics from previous races. Students will be challenged to find the mean, median, mode, and range of particular data sets. Additionally, students will conduct their own research, summarize that data, compare results, and determine which mushers demonstrate consistency with their race speed. As the 2019 Iditarod draws closer, students can use the results of their findings to help guide their race predictions for the next running of The Last Great Race®.