Routing school buses
Finding an optimal route for school buses to pick up pupils
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Classroom materials,
motivating pupils for math and science

World of Work

Becoming a(n)...
planner, mathematician, transport manager
World of Work Dimensions

Finding the optimal route for a school bus within specific and local constraints.

Pupils can choose one of several roles.
  • a planner (for example, school headmaster) should be taken by pupils who need a quick solution (not the best one).
  • a mathematician fits those who would like to understand the context of the graph theory and be introduced to several algorithms.
  • an information technology specialist also can be chosen for this task: pupils can find algorithms and software to solve some examples of this problem.

    To make a bus route and to estimate travelling time

    The product depends on the pupil’s role. For a practical designer the product is a scale drawing of the route with explanations.
  • Abstract
    Schools have buses for taking pupils to school in many countries. A school bus picks up pupils in the morning and drops them off at the end of the day at designated stops on the bus route. With school buses, total time on the bus is always the most important dimension (pupils have to get to school on time), and there is a known time of travel between any two bus stops. Since children must be picked up at every bus stop, a tour of all the sites (starting and ending at the school) is required. Since the bus repeats its route every day during the school year, finding an optimal tour is crucial. Students have to solve a problem of transport management and should make a map sketch of the particular locality, label roads and bus stops.


    Copyright/Creative Commons
    Mascil partner: LT  

    Materials are published under the
    CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license.

    Inquiry Learning

    Inquiry Learning Dimensions

    - Exploring situations
    - Planning Investigations
    - Experimenting systematically
    - Interpreting and evaluating
    - Communicating results

    - Mathematics
    - Biology
    - Physics
    - Chemistry
    - Engineering

    Target group
    - Primary Education
    - Lower Secondary Education
    - Upper Secondary Education

    Age range

    90 min.