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This is it Phase I Treasure Hunters, the final deadline for classroom/youth participants is this Thursday, April 19th. All Phase I participants who successfully unlock the final treasure of chapters 5, 6, or 7, will be eligible to win a $1,000 gift certificate to purchase supplies! This week we’ll look at one final clue from Chapter 7, Tennis:

25. Considered by many as the leading promoter of professional tennis tours, he served with the United States Coast Guard during World War II. Count the number of letters in his first and last name and subtract 8. Place your answer in 9-E

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Alright, I’ll admit that if you’re not very familiar with tennis (like myself), this clue doesn’t offer a whole lot of direction. Let’s look at some additional hints to guide you to the correct answer:

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** In 1947, more than 15,000 spectators packed Madison Square Garden during a blizzard to watch his debut match as a Pro

** In the 1950’s, he toured the globe with a team of players and a portable tennis court to encourage international play

** His line of autographed Wilson rackets helped Wilson Sporting Goods Company become one of the sport’s leading equipment suppliers for amateurs and pros alike

** He was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1968

After you find your answer and do a little bit of math, enter your numeric answer into 9E. After you’ve answered all the clues to Chapter 7, you will still need to solve that challenging Sudoku. If you just can’t make it work, please ask for help…just one wrong answer will throw off the entire puzzle!

If your students are still struggling with any of the clues in TH7, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment on the blog or contact me directly (sherrykoch@thanksusa.org) for some additional help. Also, please remind students that they can register individually and play TH7 as a Phase II participant. The Phase II deadline for individuals is August 15th, so students have most of the summer to play along at home. Best of Luck!!

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The first Phase I deadline is approaching. All school and youth groups who have registered and successfully complete either of the first two chapters by February 17, 2011, will be eligible to win a $1000 gift certificate to purchase supplies! If you are having any difficulty with clues from chapter one or chapter two, please leave a comment or send me an email (sherrykoch@thanksusa.org) so I can help you get through these chapters. This week, we’ll take a look at a question from Chapter 2, West Virginia:

19. This railroad is the nation’s oldest line. It is oddly named since more than half of its tracks are within the West Virginia borders, yet the name consists of another state and a city not in West Virginia.

Although I am not a railroad enthusiast, my grandfather worked on the Chessie System when I was young and I was a big fan of the Chessie Cat. Trains are a rich part of U.S. History and there are many resources available to help us with this clue. Your local library is sure to have several books and you may even live close to a railroad museum (www.railmuseums.com). For our purposes, I’ll provide a few additional clues that will help you an internet search:

This was the first common carrier railroad in the United States

This railroad’s slogan was “Linking 13 Great States With The Nation”

Ellicot City Station is the oldest surviving railroad station in America and was the original passenger terminal for this railroad

This is one of the railroad properties on the Monopoly board game

"Blockade of Engines at Martinsburg, WV" -wikipedia

I hope you enjoy exploring railroad history this week. There is still plenty of time to register a new classroom or youth group before our first deadline so please recommend the hunt to your teachers, coaches, and youth leaders. Good Luck!

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Welcome back Treasure Hunters! We’re only about a month away from our first Phase I prize drawing. All schools and youth groups who submit correct answers for either chapter 1 or chapter 2 (or both) will be eligible to win a $1000 gift certificate! This week, we’ll take a look at a question from Chapter 2, West Virginia:

3. The highest point in the state lies within this stretch of over 900,000 acres of federally-owned land.

View from the highest point you seek (photo from wikipedia)

This is a two-step clue. First, we’ll need to determine the highest point in West Virginia. The U.S. Geological Survey has a wonderful website www.usgs.gov that I highly recommend. This website is a valuable resource for any student or classroom studying geology. Once you’re on the USGS website, you will see a US map on the right and a link that says “Science In Your Backyard.” From here you can get a quick recap of state facts including the state capital, land area, population, counties, highest & lowest points, and even the geographic center.

Once you’ve determined the highest point in West Virginia, you’ll need to name the federally-owned land that this high point is located on.  For this, I recommend another wonderful government resource, the U.S. Department of Agriculture at www.usda.gov. This website is a bit busier and younger students may feel a bit lost while exploring, so let me offer some direction: on the USDA home page you will see a column on the left with a Search header. Type the name of the West Virginia highest point in this search block and click go…you should find your answer right away.

I hope you’re inspired to explore the USGS and USDA sites. What fun facts can you find about your state? Have fun exploring and good luck with TH6!

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