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Iditarod Math: 10 Math Work Sheets Teach About the Iditarod

The Iditarod is a "teachable moment" that rivals few others. Wise teachers use this annual sled dog race to teach geography and language skills, history, and science. This week, Education World makes math connections to the Iditarod. Included: Ten work sheets provide math practice for students in grades 4 to 8.

Jeanie Olson -- a sixth grade teacher at Schroeder Middle School in Grand Forks, North Dakota -- will be at the Iditarod this year. Before she left for Alaska, she created ten work sheets that will engage your students as they use real math to learn about the famous race. Click on each of the work sheet headlines below for a complete teaching resource. The answer key for each activity appears beneath its headline.

10 "IDITAROD MATH" WORK SHEETS

Iditarod Training
Math skills: multiplication, division
Mushers train all year for the big race each March. The math problems on this page reveal some of the hard work that goes into training a team of dogs.
ANSWERS: 1. 105 miles; 2. 15 days; 3. 5 hours; 4, \$147,000; 5. \$35,000.

Serum Run of 1925
Math skills: subtraction, division, figuring averages, Roman numerals
In 1925, many children in Nome, Alaska, were dying of a deadly disease called diphtheria. But 20 brave mushers carried units of serum from Nenana to Nome to help fight the disease. The math problems on this page teach about the Serum Run of 1925.
ANSWERS: 1. 48 years; 2. 375 miles; 3. 424 miles; 4. 22-6/19 miles (accept answers between 22 and 23); 5. XXX is the Roman numeral for 30.

Kennel Costs
Math skills: multiplication, division
Mushing and maintaining a kennel can cost a lot of money. The math problems on this page will help students learn about how costly mushing can be.
ANSWERS: 1. \$4475.00; \$23,460; 3. \$35,700; 4. \$428,400; 5. \$175.00.

Junior Iditarod
Math skills: addition, subtraction, multiplication, telling time
The Junior Iditarod is a sled dog race for mushers under the age of 18. Many of those mushers will go on to become Iditarod mushers. The math problems on this page teach students more about the Junior Iditarod.
ANSWERS: 1. 699 miles; 2. 35 dogs; 3. 18 inches; 4. 96 booties; 5. 7:15 a.m.

Staying Warm at the Iditarod
Math skills: addition, multiplication, division, percents
If you are going to the Iditarod, you will need to bring along plenty of warm clothing. The chart on this page shows some of the items you might need. It shows the discount offered on those clothing items by a local store. Figure the price for each item and the total cost.
ANSWERS: Windstopper pants (\$60.00); Gloves (\$19.20); Liner gloves (\$8.00); Lambswool socks (\$6.50); Liner socks (\$27.00); Flannel-lined chinos (\$21.00); Bomber hat (\$18.00); Parka (\$125.00); Mukluks (\$45.00); Boots (\$75.00). The Subtotal for those items is \$404.70. The Total will vary according to the sales tax rates in your state.

Calorie Calculations
Math skills: subtraction, multiplication, division
Dogs and mushers consume a lot of food as they race along the Iditarod trail. In turn, they burn many calories each day. The math problems on this page will teach more about Iditarod dogs and the calories they burn.
ANSWERS: 1. 112,000 calories; 2. 28 hamburgers; 3. 130 calories; 4. 5,760 calories; 5. 91,000 calories.

Iditarod Fractions
Math skills: subtraction, division, fractions
Iditarod mushers must ration food during the race and they must mix foods in particular quantities. In order do to that, the mushers must understand fractions. The math problems on this page show some ways in which Iditarod mushers might use fractions during the race.
ANSWERS: 1. 2/3; 2. 6 dogs; 3. 12 dogs; 4. 18 checkpoints; 5. 12 dogs.

On the Trail
ANSWERS: 1. 17 races; 2. 129 dogs; 3. 287 hours; 4. 11 days, 23 hours (accept 12 days); 5. March 14.

More Iditarod Math
Math skills: subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, telling time