The post Big Star State appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>They say that everything’s bigger in Texas. That’s definitely true for cowboys’ hats and the ranches they work on. One ranch in Texas is bigger than the whole state of Rhode Island! It makes sense when you think about how hungry cows are. Depending on a cow’s size, it can eat 25-30 pounds of grass, hay, and other food in a day. Cows can walk pretty far, too, so you need about 10-15 acres for every cow. An acre is about 3/4 the size of a football field. 1 human worker has to take care of 800 or even 1,000 cows. So ranchers get help from herding animals like horses and dogs. Horses can walk more than 30 miles per day – a lot easier for them to chase cows than for us to do it!

*Wee ones: *Texas is called “The Lone Star State” and only has 1 star on its flag. Count the points on that star.

*Little kids: *If a cowboy is riding a horse next to a cow, how many legs do the 3 of them have all together? *Bonus: *If 1 cow needs 10 acres of land to walk around and eat, how many acres do 3 cows need?

*Big kids: *Another famous Texas animal is the 9-banded armadillo. How many bands would be in a group of 9 9-banded armadillos? *Bonus: *Believe it or not, both armadillos and cows are good at jumping. If an armadillo jumps 3 feet, a cow jumps 6 feet, and you jump in the exact middle of those 2 heights, how high do you jump?

Answers:

*Wee ones: *5 points.

*Little kids: *10 legs: 2 human + 4 horse + 4 cow legs. *Bonus: *30 acres of land, because 10 + 10 + 10 = 30.

*Big kids: *81 bands. *Bonus: *You jump 4 1/2 feet high. The difference between the cow and armadillo’s height is 3 feet, so you jump 1 1/2 feet higher than the armadillo and 1 1/2 feet lower than the cow. 3 + 1 1/2 = 4 1/2.

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]]>The post Michigan Can Keep Cool appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>Michigan is that mitten-shaped state that wraps around 4 of the Great Lakes. Its name comes from the Native American Ojibwe word “mishigamaa” meaning “large lake.” There’s no spot in Michigan where you’re more than 85 miles from a Great Lake. In fact, there’s so much water in Michigan – 11,000 lakes and ponds, and 36,000 miles of streams – that you’re never more than 6 miles from any natural source of water. 4 out of every 10 square miles in the state are covered with water! Imagine if your neighborhood was like that, with 4 ponds for every 6 houses. Easy to keep cool in the summer!

*Wee ones:* Michigan has lots of water. Plug a sink and fill it with some water. To celebrate the 5 Great Lakes, splash your hands in it 5 times as you count!

*Little kids:* Michigan touches 4 of the 5 Great Lakes. How many Great Lakes don’t touch Michigan? *Bonus:* Michigan was the 26th state to join the Union. What number was Florida, which joined next?

*Big kids:* Lot of boats enjoy all that Michigan water. If there are 800,000 boats and 10 people can ride in each one, can all 10 million Michigan residents ride in the boats at the same time? *Bonus: *Michigan has the most lighthouses of any state, with 124 lighthouses standing. How many more lighthouses is that than the 65 lighthouses in Maine?

*The sky’s the limit: *It takes you 10 minutes to jog 1 mile and 15 minutes to swim 1 mile. If you travel 75 minutes either jogging or swimming only whole miles, and you jog more miles than you swam, how many miles must you have jogged, and how many did you swim?

Answers:

*Wee ones: *Count 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 as you splash!

*Little kids: *1 Great Lake. *Bonus: *The 27th state.

*Big kids: *Not quite – 10 people in 800,000 boats makes 8,000,000, or 8 million, riders. So 2 million Michiganders will have to wait their turn! *Bonus: *59 more lighthouses in Michigan. Michigan has 124 total and 124 – 65 = 59.

*The sky’s the limit: *You jogged 6 miles and swam 1 mile. You know you must swim an odd number of miles for the total time to have a 5 in the ones place. 5 miles of swimming would take exactly 75 minutes, which leaves no minutes for jogging. 3 miles of swimming would take 45 minutes, which would leave 30 minutes, or 3 miles of jogging – still not enough jogging to jog more miles than you swim. So it must be 1 mile of swimming, or 15 minutes, plus the 60 minutes in 6 miles of jogging.

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]]>The post Crabby and Merry appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>Well, our next state is actually called Maryland, not merry land. But there are plenty of reasons to be happy we’re here! Maryland is one of just 6 states with an official “crustacean”: the blue crab. Even though it’s a small state, half our country’s blue crabs come from Maryland. Lots of Maryland restaurants have huge sculptures of crabs on their roofs, big enough to see from a hot air balloon. And in fact, the first American to fly in a hot air balloon was a 13-year-old kid named Edward Warren. He took off from Baltimore, Maryland in 1784. Edward got to fly because he was much lighter than the balloon’s grown-up owner. Whether you have 8, 2, or 0 legs on the ground, you’ll feel lucky to be here!

*Wee ones: *Does an 8-legged crab have more legs than you?

*Little kids: *If you take your pet crab for a walk on the beach, how many legs do you have all together?* Bonus: *How many human friends would have to join you to have as many people legs as crab legs?

*Big kids: *If Edward Warren flew 78 feet up into the air, many yards high did he fly? (Reminder: A yard has 3 feet.) *Bonus: *For how many years have we had hot air balloons flying in America? (Reminder: That first flight was in 1784.)

Answers:

*Wee ones: *Yes, because 8 is more than 2.

*Little kids: *10 legs. *Bonus: *3 friends, because you include your own 2 legs in the count, and 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 = 8.

*Big kids: *26 yards. To divide by 3 more easily, you can break 78 into 2 smaller numbers and divide them by 3: 78 is 60 + 18, and 60 / 3 = 20 while 18 / 3 = 6. Then put it together: 20 + 6 = 26. *Bonus: *235 years.

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]]>The post A Perfect 10 appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>Today our road trip takes us to the only state with a number in its name: Tennessee! This state also has a pretty cool shape. Thanks to its wiggly eastern and western borders, it looks almost like a parallelogram. But perhaps the best math in Tennessee comes from cotton candy. A candy maker and a dentist from Nashville invented the world’s first cotton candy machine. This machine heats sugar until it melts. Then it spins the melted sugar through small holes super-fast to make a cloud of tiny threads. Just 1 or 2 teaspoons of sugar make enough cotton candy to fill a big cone. When the inventors brought their machine to the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904, people went crazy for it. The crowds bought 68,655 boxes at a quarter each! That sounds like a pretty sweet deal.

*Wee ones: *Tennessee begins with the number 10! Can you count up from 1 to 10?

*Little kids: *If you use 2 teaspoons of sugar to make pink cotton candy, 3 teaspoons to make green cotton candy, and 5 teaspoons to make blue cotton candy, how many teaspoons of sugar do you use? *Bonus: *Cotton candy is also called “fairy floss.” If you make 3 cones of fairy floss, then eat 1, then spin 4 more, then eat 2, how many cones do you have on hand now?

*Big kids: *A cotton candy machine spins 3,500 times in 1 minute! How many full minutes would it take to spin more than 10,000 times? *Bonus: *If chocolate starts melting at 86 degrees F but sugar doesn’t start melting until 300 degrees F, how much hotter does a pan need to be to melt sugar than chocolate?

*The sky’s the limit: *If those 68,655 boxes of cotton candy sold for 25 cents per box, did the inventors make more than $20,000?

Answers:

*Wee ones: *1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.

*Little kids: *10 teaspoons. *Bonus: *4 cones left. 3 – 1 gives you 2… then you add 4 to get 6… and finally take away 2 to get 4.

*Big kids: *Just 3 minutes – the first 2 minutes of spinning bring you to only 7,000 rotations. But 7,000 + 3,500 = 10,500. *Bonus: *214 degrees F warmer.

*The sky’s the limit: *Not quite. Since 4 quarters make 1 dollar, every 4 boxes earned $1. So the inventors would have had to sell 80,000 boxes of cotton candy to reach $20,000. (They instead made $17,163.75.)

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]]>Idaho is called The Gem State, but you can find another great thing in the ground there: potatoes! Idaho grows more potatoes than any other state. Last year, that added up to 13.5 billion pounds of potatoes – 41 pounds for every person in America. There are all kinds of ways to eat potatoes, but our favorite shape is the “rectangular prism,” better known as the French fry. So how many fries can you make from 1 potato? Well, it depends on the potato’s weight, but a 3-ounce serving will have 12 to 15 fries. So how many fries can we make from those 41 pounds of potatoes – and how long do you think it would take you to eat them? Read on to find out!

*Wee ones: *If you eat 3 fries and your friend eats 7, who eats more?

*Little kids: *If you eat 3 regular rectangular prism fries and 7 curly fries, how many fries do you eat in total? *Bonus: *What numbers do you say for the next 5 fries you eat?

*Big kids: *Americans eat 115 pounds of potatoes per person each year, on average! How many more pounds is that than the 41 pounds Idaho grows for each American? *Bonus: *If a 3-ounce potato makes 15 fries, how many fries can you make with a 1/2-pound potato? (Reminder: 1 pound has 16 ounces.)

*The sky’s the limit: *To find the volume of a rectangular prism, you multiply length x height x width. If you have a pile of steak fries that are all 3 inches long by 1/2-inch high by 1/2-inch tall, how many fries together take up 12 cubic inches?

Answers:

*Wee ones: *Your friend, because 7 is more than 3.

*Little kids: *10 fries, because 3 + 7 = 10.* Bonus: *11, 12, 13, 14, 15.

*Big kids: *74 more pounds. *Bonus: *40 fries. You can make 5 fries with 1 ounce; a 1/2-pound potato is equal to 8 ounces, and each of the 8 ounces makes 5 fries, so 8 x 5 = 40.

*The sky’s the limit: *16 fries. One shortcut to get this: if you want one long 12-inch by 1-inch by 1-inch stick, it needs to be 4 fries long (since each is 3 inches), and then 2 fries tall and 2 fries wide. 4 x 2 x 2 = 16. Or another way: each fry has a volume of 3/4 cubic inch, because 3 x 1/2 x 1/2 = 3/4. Dividing 12 by 3/4 is the same as multiplying it by 4/3; 12 x 4/3 = 48/3 = 16.

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]]>The post A Snacky State of Mind appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>Pennsylvania is home to the Liberty Bell, which is 3 feet tall and weighs more than 2,000 pounds. But you won’t find Pennsylvania written on the Liberty Bell. Instead it reads “Pensylvania,” because back in 1754 nobody could decide whether to spell it with 2 n’s or 3 n’s. Luckily they know how to spell its snacks! The first pretzel company in the country was founded there in 1861. Utz, Herr’s, Snyder’s, Wise, and many other big snack food companies can be found in “the Snack Belt.” The famous Heinz ketchup comes from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. And of course, Hershey’s chocolate comes from there, which you can celebrate at Hershey Park – including building your own candy bar on this machine! This state definitely gives us a lot to chew on.

*Wee ones: *Are there more letters in Pennsylvania with 3 n’s, or “Pensylvania” with 2 n’s?

*Little kids: *Is the 3-foot tall Liberty Bell taller than you? Have a grown-up help you figure out your height! *Bonus: *Pennsylvania is also famous for its cheesesteaks. If you eat a cheesesteak every other day starting on Sunday, how many do you eat that week?

*Big kids: *If Hershey bars come in 3 rows with 4 pieces in each row, how many bars do you need to have at least 100 pieces? *Bonus: *When you build your own candy bar, you can choose dark, milk, or white chocolate; then you can add mini chips or no mini chips; rice crispies or no rice crispies; and sprinkles or no sprinkles. How many different candy bar combinations can you make with those ingredients?

Answers:

*Wee ones: *There are more letters in Pennsylvania with 3 n’s.

*Little kids: *Different for everyone – measure your height and compare it to 3 feet! *Bonus: *4 times (Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday).

*Big kids: *9 bars, because the 3 rows of 4 pieces make 12 pieces in each bar. 12 x 8 = 96, so you need 1 more bar to have >100 pieces. *Bonus:* 24 combinations. *Each* of the 3 chocolates leads to 2 possibilities (chips or no chips), giving us 3 x 2 = 6 chocolate/chip combos. Then each of those 6 has 2 possibilities for rice crispies (crispies or no crispies), giving us 6 x 2 = 12. And then each of the 12 has 2 possibilities for sprinkles (sprinkles or no sprinkles), giving us 12 x 2 = 24.

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]]>The post A Wheel-y Impressive State appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>Illinois is home to the city of Chicago, where the world’s first “skyscrapers” were built. But it’s also where the world’s first Ferris wheel was built! Back in 1893, Chicago hosted a giant fair called the World Expo. They needed something as exciting as the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France. So a guy named George Washington Gale Ferris built a 264-foot-tall wheel that spun in place. This huge wheel had 36 cars that could each hold 60 people. One ride took 20 minutes: 11 minutes in the first full turn, including stops to let people on, and then a 9-minute non-stop ride. People loved it then, and still do. In the past 30 years, the record for tallest Ferris wheel has been broken 8 times. We can thank Illinois for wheeling us to new heights!

*Wee ones: *Ferris wheels, like all wheels, are circles. Can you find a circle near you?

*Little kids: *How much longer did the 11-minute spin take than the 9-minute spin on the world’s first Ferris wheel? *Bonus: *If you ride up a Ferris wheel for 4 minutes, stop at the top for twice as long as that, and then ride down for 2 minutes, how many minutes long is your ride?

*Big kids: *If a Ferris wheel has 15 triangular sections, and 3 spokes in each of those sections, how many spokes does it have? *Bonus: *If that first Ferris wheel had to make 6 stops to fill its 36 cars, how many cars were filled on each stop?

*The sky’s the limit: *If the first Ferris wheel could hold 60 people in each of its 36 cars, and took 20 minutes per ride, how many people could ride it in 1 hour?

Answers:

*Wee ones: *Circles might include buttons, clocks, coins, the bottom or top of a cup, and many other objects!

*Little kids: *2 minutes longer. *Bonus: *14 minutes: you take 8 minutes at the top, and 4 + 8 + 2 = 14.

*Big kids: *45 spokes. *Bonus: *6 cars, because 36 / 6 = 6.

*The sky’s the limit: *6,480 people every hour. 6 x 360 = 2,160 people in a 20-minute ride. Since 60 minutes / 20 = 3, they can fit 3 rides of 2,160 people in 1 hour, and 2,160 x 3 = 6,480.

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]]>The post Show Me a Waffle appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>Today is Missouri’s birthday, and what better way to celebrate than with a waffle cone? After all, waffle cones were invented here in 1904. It was another great accidental food invention. An ice cream vendor at the World’s Fair ran out of paper cups. The friendly waffle maker next door rolled a thin waffle into a cone, and they stuck the ice cream inside. Everyone liked that a lot more than holding melting ice cream in their hands. There’s another handy invention from here that we can eat: sliced bread! You might’ve heard the expression “the greatest thing since sliced bread.” Well, that actually means the greatest thing since 1928. That’s when the Chillicothe Baking Company first started selling pre-sliced loaves of bread. But ice cream still tastes better on a waffle.

*Wee ones: *Can you roll a piece of paper into a cone shape? Try it!

*Little kids: *If you can fit 3 scoops of ice cream in a waffle cone, 2 scoops in a normal cone, and 2 scoops in a dish, how many scoops do you have in total? *Bonus: *If the waffle cone was invented in 1904, is it more or less than 100 years old?

*Big kids: *A 3rd bready invention from Missouri is instant pancake mix! If the box calls for 2 cups of the dry mix and 1 1/2 cups of water, but you only want to make 1/2 of that, how much water do you need? *Bonus: *If pancake mix saves you 2 seconds of cooking time per pancake and sliced bread saves you 3 seconds per sandwich, in which scenario do you save more time: cooking 64 pancakes or making 44 sandwiches?

Answers:

Wee ones: Try it out together!

*Little kids: *7 scoops, because 3 + 2 + 2 = 7. *Bonus: *It’s more than 100 years old, because 1904 + 100 = 2004, and we’re in 2019.

*Big kids: *3/4 cups of water. 1 1/2 cups of water is 3/2 cups, which is the same as 6/4 cups – and that’s a lot easier to cut in half. If you have 6 things, half of that pile is 3, so 1/2 of 6/4 = 3/4. *Bonus: *You save 4 more seconds when making the sandwiches, because 44 x 3 = 132 (40 x 3 = 120 + 4 x 3 = 12), and 64 x 2 = 128.

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]]>The post This Place Rocks appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>Nevada’s name means “snow-covered.” That’s funny, since it’s the driest state in America! The state gets only about 9 inches of rain all year, though some spots get up to 40 inches. And on cold mountaintops, that turns into snow. Sometimes “dry” can mean “boring,” but Nevada’s deserts are exciting. There are wild creatures and spiky plants, and even the rocks there are cool! Valley of Fire State Park has amazing striped and swirling rock formations. These stones were made millions of years ago from sand dunes. Since then, wind has shaped them into smooth and surprising shapes. The patterns on the stone look almost like bacon.

*Wee ones: *Snow is white. See if you can find 5 white things in the room.

*Little kids: *If there’s a 5-inch wide red sandstone stripe and an 8-inch wide tan sandstone stripe poking out of the ground, how much more tan sandstone is showing? *Bonus: *If the first red stripe on a rock is 1 inch tall, the 2nd is 2 inches tall, the 3rd is 4 inches tall, how tall do you think the 4th stripe is?

*Big kids: *If the wettest parts of Nevada get 40 inches of rain, does any place in the state get 4 feet or more of rain? *Bonus: *The people who visit Las Vegas eat 60,000 pounds of shrimp every day – more than the whole rest of the country! If there are 20 shrimp in 1 pound, how many shrimp are in 60,000 pounds?

Answers:

*Wee ones: *White things might include bed sheets, pillows, socks, sneakers, and pieces of paper.

*Little kids: *3 more inches of tan sandstone.* Bonus: *8 inches tall, because each stripe is twice as tall as the one before it.

*Big kids: *No, because there are 48 inches in 4 feet – 12 x 4 = 48. *Bonus: *1,200,000 shrimp. You can break this into partial products to handle the large numbers: 60,000 x 20 = 60,000 x 10 + 60,000 x 10 = 600,000 + 600,000.

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]]>The post I Owe a Lot to Iowa appeared first on Bedtime Math.

]]>Today’s the perfect time to travel to Iowa, because it’s holding its big state fair! The Iowa State Fair is one of our country’s biggest and best-known. More than 1 million people show up to check out crafts, animals, and of course, food. Lots of the treats from the 200+ food stands are fried on a stick. But one food doesn’t need a stick, because it comes on a handy cob. Yes, Iowa grows more corn than any other state. Corn has some cool math. Ears grow an even number of rows, usually 16. Those rows add up to around 800 kernels in an average ear. An Iowan farmer holds the world record for most ears grown on a single plant, with 16. It’s only fair that Iowa holds that record!

*Wee ones: *If the Iowa State Fair lasts for 11 days, does it run longer than 1 week?

*Little kids: *If you eat 4 sticks of deep-fried butter – they really do serve that – what numbers do you say to count down from 4 as you eat them? *Bonus: *If you’ve nibbled off 9 rows from your ear of corn, what numbers do you say to count up the next 5 rows?

*Big kids: *Corn is sold in big containers called “bushels.” Does a 56-pound bushel of corn weigh more than you? What’s the difference between the 2 weights? *Bonus: *The Iowa State Fair was first held in 1854. What’s the biggest number you can make from those digits?

*The sky’s the limit: *If an ear of corn has 800 kernels in 16 equal rows, how many kernels are in each row? (Hint if needed: 16 is 2 x 2 x 2 x 2, so to divide a number by 16, just cut it in half 4 times!)

Answers:

*Wee ones: *Yes, because 11 is more than 7.

*Little kids: *4, 3, 2, 1.* Bonus: *10, 11, 12, 13, 14.

*Big kids: *Different for everyone…find out your weight, then subtract it from 56 if it’s a smaller number, or subtract 56 from it if your weight is greater than 56. *Bonus: *8,541.

*The sky’s the limit: *50 kernels per row.

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