Refueling on a Circular Track

Fuel tanks are located at random along a circular track. The amount of fuel at each station is represented by a circular sector suggesting a fuel gauge. The total amount of fuel available is 360 units, corresponding to 360 degrees for a full circle.

Clicking on any tank will take you (counterclockwise) by motorcycle toward the next tank. If you have enough fuel to reach it, the computer adds the new fuel and continues. Otherwise, you must begin again by clicking on another tank.

There is always at least one "right" tank you can click to complete the circuit. It can be found by trial and error, but the goal is to minimize the number of trials.

The activity will also include a demo/tutorial in which the computer makes comments or suggestions when the user makes unsuccessful trials. By making mistakes, the user learns certain guiding principles. For example, clicking on the largest amount of fuel may not be the best choice.

A game is introduced that can be played at various levels. Level 1 gives the user an initial bonus of fuel that makes possible more than one "right" tank. But there is also a risk involved because incorrect choices will produce fuel penalties. A record is displayed of the player's score and success rate. If this does not improve, the player can return to the demo/tutorial for further training. The game can also be played at Levels 2 and 3 where the initial bonus is increased; this increases the number of possible solutions. The player is amply rewarded for finding all possible solutions. Of course, there is a corresponding increase in penalties for incorrect choices.

From this activity the user learns to visualize the measurement of angles and sums of angles. It also develops intuition, logical thinking, and strategic planning.