I've spent most of the weekend digging around in the Open Streetmap code base on GitHub. If our first goal is to develop a slider that will fit in (over?) that code, I'd like to make sure that whatever we create will mesh nicely with what's already in that repository. If I'm reading this correctly, the code already includes JQuery via the jquery-rails gem. What it doesn't have is the JQuery UI. The initial slider(s) that I've been working with both depend on the JQuery UI module, so I went spelunking in the JQuery UI code.
There's got to be a better way.
Update (5/20/15): Yes, there is another way. Your mentor finds someone who enjoys the front end piece to build the slider!