Lost at Sea: The Search for Longitude

Student Handout

Voyage Around the World

You are about to embark on a voyage around the world. Your mission is to chart a course that will take you to each Checkpoint Destination on your way around the globe once. Bon voyage!


  1. Read the Nautical Rules.

  2. Review the Checkpoint Destination descriptions. Research and find locations that match each Checkpoint, which you must visit in order. Your goal is to visit every Checkpoint and circumnavigate the globe.

  3. On a world map, globe or atlas mark the locations you've chosen for each Checkpoint. Record the location and its latitude and longitude for each Checkpoint.

  4. Plan a course from one Checkpoint to the next and estimate the distance between each location, using the string and map scale. Then calculate the total distance for the entire voyage.

  5. Trade recording charts with another team and check that team's course and distance measurements.

  6. Once you have checked another team's course, work as a class to chart the shortest course around the world.

Nautical Rules

  • Begin and end your trip in Greenwich, England.

  • Circumnavigate the globe once.

  • Visit every Checkpoint Destination. (Each Checkpoint must be a different location.)

  • Visit the Checkpoints in order.

Checkpoint Destination


Latitude and Longitude

Estimated Distance from Previous Checkpoint

1. Start in Greenwich, England

Greenwich, England

51° 29' N, 0°00'W

0 miles

2. Dodge an iceberg.

3. Dock next to a cruise ship.

4. Stop at a Spanish-speaking port.

5. Stop at an English-speaking port.

6. View a high mountain from a port.

7. Visit a major oil-supplying port.

8. Photograph a kangaroo.

9. Sight a penguin.

10. Collect exotic spices.

11. Have lunch in a country where rice is a dietary mainstay.

12. Visit a country that has changed its name within the past 50 years.

13. End in Greenwich, England.

Total Distance