Maths on Track


Student Support for:
Maths on Track: What Makes for Success?


Team Organisation and Roles (Download at start of unit)

Below you will find the guide to help you with your blog posts. There are also two sample posts.


Student Blog Post Guide:

How and Why You Should Be Posting to this Blog During the Unit
During the unit you will be making two types of blog posts. Both types will be assessed.
Type One: Throughout the unit your team will make several posts about what you are learning (see Posting Throughout the Unit below for details).
Type Two: At the end of the unit each team member will make one individual post as their personal response to the two unit questions (see Posting at the End of the Unit for details).

BMW Sauber F1.06 similar to that driven by Nick Heidfeld. Original picture by Alan Thwaites.

BMW Sauber F1.06 similar to that driven by Nick Heidfeld. Picture by Alan Thwaites.

Posting Throughout the Unit
These team posts give your team an opportunity to share information with the other teams. In a team post your team lets others know about what you have found out. You should also post any resources that the team has found, or ask questions or seek feedback on what the team has done. If your team would prefer it can run its own blog (if this choice is made please discuss your idea with your teacher first). A self assessment rubric has been provided for the team to use to assess the quality of its blog posts. The Blog Posts Self-Assessment Rubric can be downloaded here. (Posting regularly throughout the unit will give each team member opportunities to develop their ability to write clear and purposeful posts. This will make sure that you will be well prepared for blog post you will individually have to make at the end of the unit – see below).

Posting at the end of Unit
This is a major assessment task. Near the end of the unit, you will be required to post your personal response (not as a team) to each of the unit questions: What skills are important? and Why are teams important? In answering these questions you should give reasons for your opinion, referring to what you have learned from the activities you have done. Your response will be assessed twice; once by yourself and also by your teacher. You should use the Blog Posts Self-Assessment Rubric you were using to assess your blog posts throughout the unit. You should be skilled at writing effective posts by this time. Your teacher will assess your responses to the unit questions using a scoring guide that will be very similar to the self assessment rubric you have used.


Think for a moment: What “teams” operate in your life? What is a team? Can you consider your parents as a “team” that affects you? What about your teachers? What about medical teams? What about the government or shopping complexes or other organisations? How important are these teams to you having a successful life? What role do you play to ensure success? If you understand this, then you have learned the main point of this unit!

Student Sample Blog Posts

Team 3 First Post
Our team is team 3 and for our first post we are reporting our first thoughts and ideas. We have to analyse the part of the Albert Park circuit from turns 13 to 16. We think these turns are the slowest part of the track. It has a right turn of 90 degrees at turn 13. This means the cars will have to slow down a lot as they come up to this turn. We don’t know how much they have to slow down. We aren’t sure exactly how to work this out yet.

Does anyone know how fast an F1 racing car can go around a corner? What is the fastest they can do this? We thought that an ordinary car going around a corner does about 20 km/hr or maybe 30 km/hr, but an F1 car is designed to hold the road much better so it would be faster than that. How much faster? We have to find that out. Turns 14 and 16 are also about 90 degree but are longer curves so the car should be able to go around these faster than around turn 13. The really slow turn looks like it would be turn 15. We downloaded the circuit map from the Australian Grand Prix website. It had a scale, so we were able to make a sketch of it and use this scale to measure the lengths of the sections between the turns. This we needed to work out accelerations and speed between turns. For turn 15, we used a protractor on the Interactive Whiteboard to measure the angle the cars would have to turn through. We found it was a 115 degree turn, which would really hard to drive around. We think that turn 15 is the slowest place on the whole circuit. What do other groups think?

Measuring angles from turns 13 to 16

Gary’s Dad is an F1 fan and he said that F1 cars have really wide tyres and he said that we should find out about “downforce”, because that matters a lot. We don’t understand what that has to do with speed. We did find out that the track is 5303 metres long and that the fastest ever speed on Albert Park was by Michael Shumacher who was going at 325 km/hr, but that wouldn’t have been around turn 15! His lap record was 1 minute 24.125 seconds (84.125 sec). Using these facts to answer the first content question What is the average speed around the Australian Grand Prix track? We found that the average speed would be Distance/time= 5303/84.125 = 64.04 m/s. After discussing this with group 2 we realised that this was based on a record time rather than average. So this speed would be average maximum speed. That means we haven’t really answered this content question yet.

Team 3 Second Post
We used the Blog evaluation rubric to assess our blog first post. We thought it was a good post at first. We gave ourselves 3s and 4s on “Extra Features”, “Creativity”, “Voice”, “Citation of Sources”, “Writing” and “Audience”. At first we scored ourselves high on “Sources” but then we realised that we only used one, so we changed our score on that to 2 out of 4. We didn’t do so well with the first three assessment criteria on the rubric. At first we thought it was Ok, because we had started to answer the Content Questions. When we looked at the rubric though, we realised that did say anything about the Unit Questions “What skills are important?” and “Why are teams important?”“ as we were supposed to do. We were supposed to use the Content Questions to help us with the Unit Questions. This time we have made sure that we do.

After all the groups had thought about their assigned parts of the circuit, we all had a class discussion using the interactive whiteboard, which let us adjust our calculations easily. We definitely have the slowest part of the track in our group. The fastest part of the circuit is between turns 16 to turn 1 along the straight, but the turns after that slow that section down. So over the whole circuit, Group 2 had the fastest section, which is the north side of the track leading up to turn 13, where our section starts. We needed to work with the Group 2 to reach an agreement on how fast the cars would be coming up to turn 13. We tried at first to work out the speeds the car would travel around each turn in our section by ourselves, but when we asked the other groups the total time the cars took came to twice as long as it takes in a race. We could only make the times fit by adjusting our calculations to fit with those of the other groups so the total track time was reasonable. So we now have the answer to two of the Content Questions. What is the fastest part of the track? … the slowest? and How do the turns 1 to 16 compare as to speed? (Rate them fastest to slowest and estimate the speed for each corner.) If you want to see what you think then bring your results to us and we can compare to see if we agree.

Why are teams important? This Unit Question we thought would be easy to answer if it just asked IF teams are important, because obviously the driver needs the pitstop crew to keep the car going in a race. On the BMW-Sauber website (http://www.bmw-sauber-f1.com/en/index.html ) there was a fantastic interactive that let us see how important it was for the pitstop crew to work fast. You could see how they had to be really organised to work fast and that must have taken a lot of discussion and cooperation to achieve. Until we saw this interactive we never realised before how well thought out this is to make sure that the driver was in the pitstop the minimum time. For example four guys are just standing there with a tyre in their hands waiting for the car to pull in. When it does there are other guys that take off the wheel nuts, others pull the tyres off and then the ones holding the tyres step in and then the wheel nut guys step back in and screws the nuts back on. Other team members did other jobs, but they all knew what to do and just did it like lightening. I couldn’t click the mouse on everyone in the pitstop crew as fast as it all happens in a real race. It was amazing! The interactive is at http://www.bmw-sauber-f1.com/en/index.html#/interactive/perfectpitstop/ It made us think more about why teams are important. And how everyone has to be skilled at what they do, but also cooperate with their team members. Having the same goal we thought would be really important. When we looked at other indicatives we saw ones about telemetry, which we found out is about ending information back from the car to the pitstop crew.

We wondered if one team was more important than the others, or which were most important, but we weren’t sure how to find out. So we went to a website that let us post a question to some of the drivers. (The address is http://www.grandprix.com.au/default.aspx?s=f1_links ) We asked them what they thought. Two of us in the group think the pitstop team is the most important, one thinks the car design team is, and when we asked the teacher what he thought, he just asked us where all the money to build the cars came from. So now we aren’t sure. Maybe they all are, which makes sense since the driver can’t manage without any of them. Hopefully one of the drivers will reply and give us their opinion. We also thought we could contact a racing club and ask them. We also heard that one of the teachers has a rally car so we thought we could talk with him. Does anyone reading this know of a person we could speak with? We also thought that we could put an article in the school newsletter and say what we are doing and ask if anyone can help who knows about racing?

For our next post we need to think more about what each of the teams do and how that contributes to being the fastest car. That will also help us answer the other Unit Question which is really about what teams do, that is, what skills they need to do their jobs properly. It is all connected together and we are finding out that it is more and more complicated. There is more to racing than we thought!

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