Vector Voyage


Ocean Freight Meaning: What Is Ocean Freight?

Ocean freight is the shipping of goods by sea via shipping containers.

Ocean freight is the most common mode of transport that importers and exporters use. In fact, a full 90% of everything is shipped by ocean freight and sea freight. The other international freight transport modes (courier, standard air freight, express air freight) are all faster, but they are also more expensive.

Have you ever wondered why the companies pay top rates for their ocean freight shipping costs or why sometimes, the rates keep on fluctuating? Well, there are a number of factors which come to the scene when it comes to determining the shipping rates. 

Achievement Standards:

  • Applies personal and social skills to establish and maintains respectful relationships and promote safety, fair play and inclusivity.
  • Communicates their ideas, methods and findings using scientific language and appropriate representations

  • Collaborates with others in design and production processes, and control equipment and technologies to achieve their intentions.

  • Demonstrates skills to make informed decisions, and proposes and implements actions that promote their own and others’ health, safety and wellbeing.

  • Explains issues and ideas from a variety of sources, analysing supporting evidence and implied meaning.

  • Makes presentations and contribute actively to class and group discussions, using language features to engage the audience.

  • Chooses appropriate language to describe events and experiments.

  • Describes Physics laws and applies them to successful route plans.

  • Identifies the effects of an economic or business decision and the potential consequences of alternative actions.

  • Identifies ways they can be active and informed citizens in different contexts.

  • Proposes a range of alternative responses to an issue and evaluates the costs and benefits of each alternative.

  • When planning for action, takes into account multiple perspectives, uses democratic processes, and develops solutions to an issue.

  • Communicates and documents projects, including marketing for a range of audiences.

  • Creates and connects design ideas and processes of increasing complexity and justify decisions.

  • Establishes detailed criteria for success, including sustainability considerations, and uses these to evaluate ideas and designed solutions and processes.

  • Explains the concepts of vectors, Newton's laws of motion.


Global Concept: Design/Sustainability/Innovation and Responsibility

   Learners are inspired to be curious about Physics in designing and implementing it by creating a Sustainable

        and economically reasonable freight. 


  • Physics Equations
  • Applying safety measures
  • Fundraising—a student responsibility
  • ​​What does it mean to be “green”?


  • How we use Physics in the world?
  • Responsibility and organization, teamwork
  • How are we responsible for the planet? and each other?


  • Why we must innovate
  • Creativity in business—new ideas fitting every where 
  • affordable new ideas


You have a united nations Aid ship to be shipped from US to Mauritania with minimum possible cost.

You have to construct a route for your shipment to shipped during 2.5 MONTHS by considering all the winds and currents effects that you may face. 


In order to do your challenge, you need to know how to construct a route/path by taking into account the weather circumstances.

Early Sailors used dead reckoning to navigate. With dead reckoning, navigators find their positions by estimating the path and distance they have sailed from known points. Starting from a known point, such as a port, a navigator measures out the path and distance from that point on a chart, pricking the chart with a pin to mark the new position. These early navigators used physics to help them find their way and stay on path when wind, current and other factors affected their journeys.

Unfortunately, sometimes sailors never reached the destination where they thought they would end up. Your task is to construct correct paths help them to reach their destinations. 

Dead reckoning: The process of navigating by calculating one's current position by using a previously determined position, and advancing that position based upon known or estimated speeds over elapsed time and path.

    Connections Through Context and Relevance

    • ​​Global Citizenship - Building inventions to help make a better world
    • ​​Environmental Stewardship - How are we responsible for our planet

    Use the below links during your designing process:







    Solution Fluency Process:


    ​​ students work in pairs to come up with a unique idea for their own personal route for ocean freight that runs on a minimum cost plan and completely safe. They will design and explain the function of their route. After the class discussion, students should be ready to take on the challenges. Inform them that they will be putting their heads together to come up with unique and useful routes that following the physics concepts clarified below in this assignment. Ensure they understand that what they design must utilize an efficient cost reduction plan, thus working to alleviate this problem as well. Get students to hand in written definitions of the problem for the task before they proceed.



    Let the students collect and understand all possible factors that affect the ocean freight. Then, they have  to focus on one factor to build their hypothesis on. 

    In order to construct their routes, they need to investigate the method of  dead reckoning. 




    Dream about how to be able to deliver the united nations aid ship safely with minimum cost so you will help people in poverty and bad health conditions as fast as possible.



    Pre-challenge activity:

    Materials List

    Each pair of students needs:

    • Vector Voyage maps 1 and 2.
    • 3 different colored pencils (blue, green and red match the worksheet instructions)


    Follow the instructions mentioned for each task and answer the questions.

    Task 1: Your ship can sail 10 squares/month. Starting from Spain and travelling west, Draw one vector for each month of travel using your red pencil.

    1.  In what country will you make landfall?
    2. How many months will it take to reach land (how many 10-square vectors is it)?
    3. If each square on the map represents 100 miles in length, calculate the distance traveled to reach the land?

    Task 2: Unfortunately, the wind does not always blow the way you want! To determine how the winds effects our travel, let's include the wind vector.

               Remember that the wind changes, so each month you will have to add a different wind vector. The list of different winds for each month is in the following box:

    Month 1: 2 squares south.      Month 2: 4 diagonal squares southeast.

    Month 3: 2 squares west.       Month 4: No wind

    1. Draw your ship vector for the first month, just like in task 1, using your red pencil.
    2.  At the end of that vector, add the wind vector for this month using your blue pencil.
    3. Draw the resulting vector (just adding the two vectors) with your blue pencil. That's where you are when the first month ends.
    4. Now do the same for the next month and the month after that until you reach land.
    5. Answer the following questions:
    1. Where will you make landfall now?
    2. How many months to reach land (only count the solid 10-square vectors!)?

    Task 3: Unfortunately, ocean currents affect boats too! Each month, you must also add a current correction vector to find your actual final position.

              Remember the wind and the ocean vectors will be different for each month. They are listed in the box below.

    Wind Vectors:

    Month 1: 2 squares south.      Month 2: 4 diagonal squares southeast.

    Month 3: 2 squares west.       Month 4: No wind.

    Ocean Vectors:

    Month 1: 2 squares south      Month 2: 4 squares west

    Month 3: 3 diagonal squares southwest


    1. So just like in task 2, draw your ship vector (in red), and your wind vector (in blue) for the first month.
    2. Now add on your ocean vector (in green) for the first month.
    3. Using your green pencil, draw the resulting vector from all of these (add the red and the blue and green vectors).
    4.  Do this for each month until you hit land.
    5. Answer the following questions:         

      1. Where will you make landfall now?                                                                                                                                              2. How many months to reach land (only count the solid 10-square vectors)?

    Challenge activity:

    Materials List

    Each pair of students needs:

    • Vector Voyage map 3.
    • 3 different colored pencils (blue, green and red match the worksheet instructions)


    You have a united nations Aid ship to be shipped from US to Mauritania with minimum possible cost.

    One of the most important factors that affect the cost of shipment is the time.

    Your challenge is to:

    *construct a route that would take the aid ship to Mauritania after 2.5 MONTHS. (Remember the ship can sail 10 squares/month).

    *Predict the effects of the winds and the currents during the trip. (Write the winds and currents vectors in the table below according to your predictions).

    *Predict the best season for your shipment.



    Wind Vectors:

    Month 1: …………………………………..

    Month 2: …………………………………..

    Ocean Vectors:

    Month 1: …………………………………..

    Month 2: …………………………………..




    ​​Students will begin to finalize their routes and clean up any last-minute details for their design presentations. Depending on how they format their presentations, they may require extra editing time if any digital renderings use software. The student pairs will then present their ship route to the rest of the class. Set up some criteria that you will use for assessment. You can consider things like the following:

    • ​​Cost reduction plan.
    • ​​the ship specific route following the physics concepts
    • ​​why it would be useful in our society
    • ​​manufacturing economy and marketability
    • mentioning all the trials they made till they come up with a completely cost efficient path.



    Have the students revisit their route plans as a group and take a critical look at the processes they used during this task to achieve their goal. Have them consider all the plans they saw from the students in their class.

    • How did each plan illustrate a desire for a cleaner, healthier world?
    • How did they help the stricken country?
    • How safe was the trip?

    Now have them reflect critically on their own presentation. Is there anything about their procedures and development steps that they would do differently? How did they explore their creativity? Have them reflect on how important it is to consider things like practicality, functionality, and  safety when undertaking the creation of their route plans.