Author Archive

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Bouncing off the Walls

March 28, 2017 4:00 pm

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Making a basketball shot is hard, but how much harder when the hoop is on a rolling forklift? Read on to do the math and find out!

A Surprise Prickly Pet

March 27, 2017 4:00 pm

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Frogs seem slippery and slimy. But this frog can pull some crazy tricks. Read on for the math on its shape-shifting secrets!

Real-Life Treasure Hunt

March 26, 2017 4:00 pm

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You never know what’s buried in your backyard, and for one California couple, their yard held real treasure. When they saw a can sticking out of the ground, they dug it out and ended up finding eight cans filled with 1,427 gold coins! The mix of $5 coins, $10 coins and $20 coins was minted (made) between 1847 and 1894, back when Americans used coins for those amounts. If you add up all those $10s and $20s, the coins have a total face value of almost $28,000. But they are worth far more than that, because the older a coin, the fewer of that coin we still have, and so the more that coin is worth. One of the coins is worth over $1 million all by itself, and all together the collection is estimated at $10 million. So what do you do when you suddenly find $10 million of coins in your backyard? Bury them again, of course! But just to be safe, they picked a new spot.

When Garbage Goes Flying

March 25, 2017 4:00 pm

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Ever wonder how your paper, plastic, and glass magically get recycled and used again? Read on to uncover the mystery and crunch the numbers on recycling.

Bus-ting Out

March 24, 2017 4:00 pm

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It’s amazing what you can do with paint. People who paint pictures that look really real can create a whole new kind of magic. These crazy buses are a great example of that. In the top picture, the back of a bus is painted to look like it has a battery compartment. In the second, someone painted around the wheels to make them look like two eyes. And in the third, the stretchy part of the bus looks like the bendy part of a toothbrush. Buses are a good 40-50 feet long, though, so these eyes and batteries and brushes are way, way bigger than real ones. How much bigger are they?

The Cat in Charge

March 23, 2017 4:00 pm

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Cats like mice, and the Chief Mouser at the United Kingdom’s Prime Minister’s house is no exception. Click “Read More” to find out more and do the math!

Good Moo-sic

March 22, 2017 4:00 pm

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We all like different music from each other. You and your friend might like some of the same songs, but not every song, and your parents definitely don’t like all the same songs as you. So what about cows: do cows all like the same music? And is there one kind they like best? Scientists studied this a few years ago by playing different songs for cows to see if the cows made more milk during certain songs. They found that when listening to songs with fewer than 100 beats a minute – maybe about 1 beat per second – the cows gave 3% more milk: in the time the farmers normally got 100 cups from them, they now got an extra 3 cups. Even though people have been studying this since the 1930’s, no one’s sure whether music really makes cows make more milk – or more importantly, whether the milk tastes better.

Flying Frisbee Stunt

March 21, 2017 4:00 pm

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Try catching a high-flying Frisbee…now try catching it by jumping off a zooming speedboat. Read on to do the math to see if you can make it!

Egg-streme Equinox

March 20, 2017 4:00 pm

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So March 20 is pretty special, and not just because it’s the 79th day of the year. In most years March 20 is the start of spring, also called the vernal equinox. Equinox comes from the Latin words for “equal night,” because on this day Earth is tilted perfectly so every spot on the planet has 12 hours of both day and night. Because of that perfect tilt, people try to balance an egg on end at the exact moment of the equinox. Does that actually work? It does – because you can balance an egg  any time! And, as noted in this week’s family activity on our Add It Up blog, eggs are also incredibly strong. While they break easily if they fall sideways onto the floor, they hold up surprisingly well when you press in on them. Take a couple of small plastic cups, stack your egg between them as shown here, and try balancing lots of heavy objects…you’ll find your egg can stand up to a lot.

The Truth about Double-Stuf Oreos

March 19, 2017 4:00 pm

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Do Double-Stuf Oreos really have double the amount of “stuff” in the middle? One group decided to do an experiment to find out. Read on to see what they discovered – and do the Double-Stuf math!