A Not-so-Secret Code

A Not-so-Secret Code

July 11, 2019

The number 802 might not mean much to you, but to a lot of people it sounds like home! That’s because all people in Vermont have phone numbers that start with 802, its “area code.” Luckily for us, Vermonters also share some really tasty treats with the rest of us. First, there’s the maple syrup – Vermont makes more of it than any other state. Vermonters take sap from maple trees and boil it down into that yummy, sticky topping for your pancakes. You have to boil between 30 to 50 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup! Second, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream is from Burlington, Vermont. This company makes more than 60 flavors of this frozen treat – that makes plenty of fuel for our road trip!

Wee ones: How many bottles of maple syrup can you count in the picture?

Little kids: What do the digits in 802 add up to? Bonus: If you’ve tried 2 of the 60 flavors of Ben & Jerry’s, how many do you have left to sample?

Big kids: If you use 3 tablespoons of syrup on your pancakes, and it took 40 times as much sap to make that, how many tablespoons of sap made your breakfast syrup? Bonus: To imagine what that would look like, about how many cups is that? (Reminder: A cup has 16 tablespoons.)

The sky’s the limit: The amount of maple syrup made in Vermont changes every year – it was more than 2 million gallons this year! If Vermont had a down year and made “only” 1.2 million gallons of syrup, and each gallon of syrup used 40 gallons of sap, how many gallons of sap were boiled down to make that syrup?

Wee ones: 1, 2, 3, 4 bottles of syrup!

Little kids: Those numbers add up to 10 – 8 + 0 + 2 = 10. Bonus: 58 flavors that you haven’t tried.

Big kids: 120 tablespoons of sap. Bonus: More than 7 cups! It’s 7 1/2 cups to be exact.

The sky’s the limit: 48 million gallons of sap. Multiplying 40 x 1.2 is the same as multiplying 4 x 10 x 1.2, which is the same as 4 x 12.

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About the Author

Laura Overdeck

Laura Overdeck

Laura Bilodeau Overdeck is founder and president of Bedtime Math Foundation. Her goal is to make math as playful for kids as it was for her when she was a child. Her mom had Laura baking before she could walk, and her dad had her using power tools at a very unsafe age, measuring lengths, widths and angles in the process. Armed with this early love of numbers, Laura went on to get a BA in astrophysics from Princeton University, and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business; she continues to star-gaze today. Laura’s other interests include her three lively children, chocolate, extreme vehicles, and Lego Mindstorms.

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