One of our school traditions is to read and learn about the Iditarod sled dog race in Alaska every year. We always research the mushers and have a class vote about which one’s progress to track once the race begins (here are our past Iditarod posts from 2014, 2013, and 2012). This year, the winner of our class vote was Aliy Zirkle. She has finished in second place in the race for the past three years! Good luck, Aliy!
The race always has a ceremonial start in Anchorage, but the actual race doesn’t start until the next day. This year, for only the second time in race history, the restart of the race has been moved from the town of Willow to Fairbanks. Why do you think they made that change?
This year we’ve been incorporating our learning about the Iditarod into our math class. The 2015 Teacher on the Trail website has some great lessons and math problems. Here’s one example (the entire set of problems is here):
On Sunday, March 3rd, 65 teams departed Willow to embark on the 41st Iditarod! The sixty-sixth musher, Ed Stielstra, scratched due to an injury that happened in training prior to the race. Mikhail Telpin started with 12 dogs. Cindy Abbott, Bob Chulpach, and Rudy Demonski each started 14 dogs and Charley Bejina started with 15 dogs. All of the other mushers fielded full teams of sixteen dogs! How many feet crossed the starting line and started down the trail to Nome on restart day?
Can you figure out the solution to this problem?
Who do you think will win the Iditarod?