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Tracks to Progress Project

Procedures for Participation

  1. Classes wishing to participate must register.
  2. Once project registration has been confirmed, classes should research the history of railways in their states or local area. They should gather information needed to create at least one version of one of the following three products:
    • a story from the perspective of an employee of the railway who rode on the train during the first trip after the rail line was completed. The student will decide whether he wants to play the role of engineer, brakeman, conductor, or other employed passenger on the train. The student (in that role) will explain the responsibilities of his job, the location on the train where he would be placed, and describe the trip. The description of the trip will include the rate of the train, the mileage and time of the trip, the areas of the region that the train passed through, and the expectations of the economic growth of these areas during that time period.
    • a schedule for a train trip that is at least 200 miles. By calculating the mileage and the average rate of the train, the student will calculate the times of arrival and departure in various towns on the route and to the final destination. The itinerary will also include a map of the route that includes historical and cultural sites noted with a legend and information about their importance to the region.
    • a script for the railway trip. The script will include events, stories, and/or information about the culture, history, and wildlife in the area. In addition, the script should distinguish which stories are fact and which are probably myth. Included in the script is information about the length of each leg of the train trip (from one city to the next), how fast the train will travel, and how long the trip will take.

  3. Each product is to be submitted as a word-processed file which must include the following:
    • The name of the railway
    • At least one student-generated digital image related to the railway. The digital image can be digitally photographed; hand-drawn, then digitally photographed or scanned; or created using some kind of drawing/imaging software. Regardless of how the image is created, ALL must be submitted electronically in JPEG or GIF format (no larger than 100K).
    • The following relevant facts:
      • Where is the railway found in the state?
      • When and by whom was it first built?
      • What products (i.e. passengers or freight) were/are transported by the railway?
      • What role has it played in the history and/or economy of the state or local area?
      • What was/is the approximate length of the railway?
      • Describe its current use. For example, if it's no longer in use, is it part of a "Rails-to-Trails" initiative.

  4. To encourage the use of online resources, the following web sites contain information and can be used as starting points.
  5. After completion of the itinerary, attach it to an e-mail message to the project coordinator by the ending date of the session.
  6. Once the itinerary(ies) are received by the project coordinator, they will be posted to a special web site. You will be notified of the web site via e-mail.

How To Register
To register, send an e-mail to the Project Coordinator, Kevin Oliver, at . Registration is requested within 15 days of each session's start date. Please include the following information in you e-mail.

  • Teacher name
  • School name
  • School address
  • Grade level of participating class
  • E-mail address (preferably the teachers)
  • URL of your school's web site (if applicable)
  • Geographical setting of your school (urban, rural, or suburban)



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