Get Set Jet Set

Type: Investigation

Theme: Combinations and Permutations

Grades: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Learning Target: Students will use discrete mathematics to determine the best possible route between four major world-wide cities.


An international airline company has awarded you 25,000 air miles for being an awesome math student. Three of your friends may travel with you (group project). You want to visit three of the major continents (South America, Africa, and Euro-Asia). You have been tasked to find the most direct, efficient, and feasible route.

  • Which three cities will you visit?
  • On which type(s) of aircraft will you travel to get to each destination?
  • How many miles will you travel?

Other parameters:

  • You may only fly in and out of one of the listed city (with exception of your home city).
  • Include your return flight home.
  • You may only travel <= 25,000 miles.
  • You may fly to as many additional cities as you'd like, but they must be in the set of the 30 largest.
  • The airplane you select for each route cannot refuel at an unlisted airport.
  • Crossing the Pacific Ocean is OK, if you select an airplane that can make the long journey without refueling.
  • Choose an efficient airplane (for example: don't choose a jumbo jet for a short leg of your journey)


PowerPoint or Word Document containing:

  • Include a table as shown below.
  • Write a justification explaining why your route is the most direct, efficient, and feasible (minimum three paragraphs).
  • Include a photo from each destination (group selfies are OK).
  • Map your destinations with route lines. Modify this map.
  • Answer the following question:
    1. How many possible routes are between any two of the 30 largest cities?
    2. Why are the lines straight on the Desmos Graph but curved on the Distance Calculator?
    3. Which is more accurate?
  • Make a T-chart of project tasks with who did which task.
  • Peer Review
Departing City Destination City Continent Airplane Type Distance
[Home city, e.g. Seattle]        
       [Home city, e.g. Seattle]  
   Total Miles  


Exit Ticket
CCSS Math Practice
  • I can reason abstractly and quantitatively.
  • I can construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.
NGSS Crosscutting Concepts
  • Systems and System Models