Boat Race, Revisited

A couple of years ago, I was impressed with Dan Meyer and Dave Major’s creation of Boat Race, an activity that involved navigating around buoys with some knowledge of bearings. I hoped to use his creation for my ninth graders two years ago, but Boat Race in its original form was zapped from the interwebs. At the time,  I did an analog version, which you can find here in PDF form:

07 – CW – Boat Race


This year, when looking at my materials in the revamped Math 9 course, I felt compelled to take a crack at my own digitization of this activity.  Here’s the result:

Screen Shot 2016-02-24 at 12.29.18 AM

You can also visit the live site here and try it out yourself.

Boat Race

The moving circle moves painfully slow by design. Students will (hopefully) be compelled to do a good job of calculating distances and angles accurately. I plan to give them the analog version on paper for planning purposes. Shortest time by the end of the class wins fame and glory.

9 thoughts on “Boat Race, Revisited

  1. Looks interesting but the image doesn’t load for me in Firefox and in Chrome it appears to be super zoomed in and blurry.

  2. Thanks, Evan, for sharing the source. A question: why do you choose Meteor and not other frameworks? I had experiences with flask and bottle (python).

    On the other hand, I have seen you have used very much the web frameworks for making class: reservation of exams, etc. Can you please tell us a little bit more about where and how to use these tools and what are their benefits?


    1. Hi Xavier,

      I think it might be time for another blog post detailing my reasons for going full Meteor. Those reasons are even stronger now than they were when I first started moving that way 2+ years ago, which seems a bit weird in retrospect now that my coding skills have developed a bit more. The short story is that I got tired of managing two different languages – Python in the back (where I also used Bottle) and Javascript in the front. Meteor lets the entire stack be written in Javascript, which lends itself to a much smoother development experience.

      1. Thanks, Evan, for sharing your reason. I hope you publish the post soon. On the other hand, why did you need javascript? The only what I realize is to put dynamic fields (which grow with data)

        1. Two main reasons:

          • These projects are a lot more fun if you can collect data, store it, and display it in some way. Meteor makes it really easy to do this.
          • Sharing what I create through running on a web page is a lot easier to share than a Python script, which requires installation of Python or the knowledge of how to access it another way (through a terminal, or an in-browser code site). It isn’t that difficult to get code in another language running, but it’s an extra step that makes the difference between someone checking out my work or not. Everyone has a web browser, which means everyone can run Javascript.

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