First in Flight

First in Flight

July 27, 2019

Today’s state is famous for a couple of very different things. It was in North Carolina in 1903 that brothers Orville and Wilbur Wright strung together sheets, sticks and a couple of propellers, and took off up into the sky. Their funky little machine became the first airplaneto fly! Can you imagine how that must have felt, to be the first people ever to fly off the ground? Thanks to them, we can now fly through the air without trying to flap our arms. People around the world fly on more than a million flights each day! The other really important North Carolina invention is Krispy Kreme donuts. The shop was started in Winston-Salem in 1937, and it’s said that 3.6 billion Krispy Kreme donuts have been sold (and eaten) since then. The question is, how many of those donuts can you fit on a plane?

Wee ones: Flap your arms 5 times while counting 1 to 5. Good thing we don’t have to fly like that!

Little kids: If you eat a chocolate donut, then a glazed donut, then a chocolate one, then a glazed…what kind do you eat next to keep up the pattern? Bonus: How many chocolate donuts have you eaten now?

Big kids: If a box holds 16 donuts in 4 rows of 4, how many donuts aren’t on the edge of the square? Bonus: In how many years will Krispy Kreme celebrate its 100th birthday? (Reminder: it was founded in 1937; we’re in 2019 now.)



Wee ones: Count 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

Little kids: A chocolate donut: Bonus: 3 chocolate donuts.

Big kids: 4 donuts. Only the middle 2 rows have donuts that aren’t touching the edge, and then we have to take the left and right donut off each row, too. Bonus: 18 years from now!

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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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