A Real Gem Of a State

Here's your nightly math! Just 5 quick minutes of number fun for kids and parents at home. Read a cool fun fact, followed by math riddles at different levels so everyone can jump in. Your kids will love you for it.

A Real Gem Of a State

August 5, 2019

Arkansas is a pretty surprising state. First of all, the name doesn’t sound a lot like how it’s spelled. Secondly, there are diamonds in the ground – and you can grab them almost for free! That’s right, Arkansas is home to Crater of Diamonds State Park. This place used to be a diamond mine, but now it’s open to everyone. Kids under 6 years old can search the field for free and older kids have to pay just $6. Visitors have found more than 33,000 diamonds since the park was opened in 1972. One person even found a colorless, flawless stone (no chips or scratches). That’s a 1-in-a-billion rock! The 3 largest diamonds found in America all came from Arkansas. This is the state that really shines.

Wee ones: If kids have to pay 6 dollars to search for diamonds and grown-ups have to pay 8 dollars, who pays more?

Little kids: If there are 2 diamonds found each day at Crater of Diamonds, how many will be found during 1 week? Bonus: The largest diamond ever found at Crater of Diamonds – and in America – weighed 40 carats (a tiny amount of weight). The 2nd-largest found there weighed 34 carats. How much more did the largest weigh? Count up from 34 if it helps!

Big kids: If visitors find 600 diamonds in a year, how much does each one have to be worth to total more than $2000, if they all can sell for the same price? Bonus: If you visit the park every day starting on a Sunday and find a diamond every 3rd day starting that day, how long until you find one on a Thursday? What’s a shortcut to figure this out?

The sky’s the limit: There are so many diamonds at Crater of Diamonds because old mining machines had bigger mesh screens, and anything smaller than 1/16th of an inch fell through. How many 1/16th-inch-wide diamonds would you have to line up to stretch 1 foot in total?
 

 

 

 

 

 

Answers:
Wee ones: The grown-ups, because 8 is more than 6.

Little kids: 14 diamonds, because 2+2+2+2+2+2+2=14. Bonus: 6 more carats. You can count up: 35 is 1 more than 34, then 36, 37, 38, 39, 40.

Big kids: Just $4 each. $3 each brings the total to $1800, which isn’t quite enough. Bonus: 18 days later. Thursday is always 3 days before a Sunday, and the next Sunday is 21 days later, so we just back up 3 days on the calendar.

The sky’s the limit: 192 diamonds, because there are 16 diamonds in 1 inch, and 12 inches in 1 foot. 16 x 12 = 192. You can make this multiplication easier by breaking the 12 into 10 + 2. 16 x 12 = 16 x 10 + 16 x 2, which = 160 + 32 = 192.

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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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