Skip Navigation

Mid-America Transportation Center

Teacher Resource Center


Lesson Overview

Lesson Title:
Distance Formula with Bus Routes

Ms. Chelsea Hoglund (Primary)

Brief Description:
Students will use the distance formula to find the distances between the stops on the StarTran to determine when the next bus will arrive.

Topics Introduced:

Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics Curriculum Framework Components Addressed:
Transportation Systems/ Infrastructure Planning, Management and Regulation
Suggested Grade Levels:
9th Grade
10th Grade
11th Grade
12th Grade

Standards Taught:
12.4.6 Math 2006

Lesson Information

Learning Expectations:

I expect the students to learn what engineering is and what the job of an engineer requires.

I also expect the students to become more comfortable with using the distance formula in real life problems.

Plan Of Action:

The powerpoint takes you through the entire lesson in this order.

1) Introduction to Engineering (very basic)
2) Go into more depth on Transportation Engineering
3) Where's my bus? (A direct application of a transportation engineer)
4) Review the distance formula
5) Introduce the Activity
- The students are asked to find the distances between the stops on the Belmont bus route in order to be able to know when the next bus will arrive.
- You can either put them in partners and have them work together, or you can have them in groups and each person in the group does a different distance and then come together as a group to find the total distance.

6) Discuss the other factors that come into play on the bus routes that needed to be taken into account to determine when the next bus will arrive

Data Set Used:

The bus route has been found on Google and can be put into Geogebra ( in order to find the coordinates of each stop on the route.

Materials Needed:


Preparation Period:

Getting the power point ready and the worksheets with the bus route printed.

Implementation Period:

One class period - 52 minutes

Chapter 1 Geometry

Science, Math, Engineering and / or Technology Implications:

The distance formula is taught in 1st semester Geometry

Unexpected Results:

Be prepared for students asking a lot of questions about engineering and want to go more in-depth with explanations of the different kinds. I also had a couple of websites available for the students to research on their own outside of class which you can find on my resources page of the power point.

Considerations for Diversity in Education:

Public transportation is used all over the world.

A large population of North Star uses the StarTran.

Visual learners will be able to see the distances between the stops and the differences between the distances.

Lesson Files

Engineering Powerpoint
This is the powerpoint for the actual lesson. This takes the students through a brief introduction to engineering, takes them to the website on Where's My Bus along with a description of the website and through the activity.
[size: 1124352] [date uploaded: Mar 15, 2011, 8:27 am ]

Engineering Worksheet
This is a worksheet for the activity portion of the lesson. This is the actual map of the bus route with the stops shown.
[size: 254464] [date uploaded: Mar 15, 2011, 8:28 am ]

Teacher's Powerpoint
This is the same powerpoint with some teacher notes that are in yellow that help explain the powerpoint.
[size: 1131008] [date uploaded: Apr 04, 2011, 2:42 pm ]

Some video files may require Adobe Flash to open or view.
Download Adobe Flash Player