around the world in 21 days

We are working on a financial math unit in IB Math Studies. Some students have balked at things like currency exchange (ironically, even those who want to be business majors). I wanted to do some kind of shopping project, but as my sister pointed out, when a website detects your IP address, it’ll often just do the currency conversion for you. So I went a-googlin’ for some currency conversion projects and found some travel ones for consumer math. I added in a requirement to fly to three different countries, purchase those flights on a credit card and pay them off, take out foreign currency from Travelex, and then spend that money on food and excursions.

My version is here.

Things I’ve Found Interesting So Far:
1) I’m learning to be okay with “lost” classroom time because I’m happy to see students engaged in the work.
2) Some students didn’t know how to search for flights. I had to state that they shouldn’t come back to Boston after each country to fly back out. One group then started to plot out how to optimize by distance between countries (though I didn’t ask for that).
3) Students automatically assumed they’d be on a budget even though I didn’t state a limit on cost for flights or hotels. However, some went all out on their purchasing and were surprised by the ludicrous cost of airline travel. One group bought first-class flights for their three cities and were horrified to find that the bill came to $43,000.
4) Google has a flights feature now.
5) Having students provide their work to me via Google Docs is awesome for commenting on it and providing feedback.
6) I didn’t give them a template to fill in because I wanted them to have freedom with presentation, but I almost wish I had.
7) Only one student tried to use a 0% intro APR to get out of doing credit card math.
8) I need to teach the screenshot command (Command + Shift + 4) and how to use Google Docs.

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