Eel-ing with Delight

Eel-ing with Delight

May 4, 2020

With aquariums closed, we’re missing visiting all those cool sea creatures. Turns out, they miss us, too! This aquarium in Tokyo wants people to FaceTime with their spotted garden eels. These silly little eels dig burrows and stick most of their bodies in the sand. But they also poke their heads out to eat tiny bits of food floating by – and to see people! So call them up and give them the classic ocean greeting: a friendly wave.
 
Wee ones: If these eels each have 3 big spots and 2 eyes, do they have more spots or eyes?
 
Little kids: If you chat with a baby eel for 3 minutes, then with the mama eel for 5 minutes, how many minutes did you spend talking to eels? Bonus: If you start chatting with them at 1:28 pm, at what time do you finish?
 
Big kids: If an eel is 15 inches long, but 2/3 of it is hidden in the sand, how many inches of eel are showing above the sand? Bonus: How many 15-inch eels would you have to lay end to end to add up to your height?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Answers: 
Wee ones: More big spots, because 3 is more than 2.
 
Little kids: 8 minutes of eel talking time. Bonus: At 1:36 pm.
 
Big kids: 5 inches. 1/3 of the eel is showing, and 1/3 of 15 = 15 / 3 = 5. Bonus: Different for everyone… measure your height, convert it to inches, then add up 15s to find out your height in eels!

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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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