Hats Off to Texas

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.

Hats Off to Texas

August 1, 2014

No matter how much you love hats, you probably don’t have more of them than this Lone Star-shaped sculpture in Fort Worth, Texas. It’s a 26-foot-wide star covered with 400 hats and hanging in the city’s convention center. The artist, Donald Lipski, also made those crazy guitar and canoe sculptures in DC from this math problem. He collected these hats by throwing a party where all you needed as your ticket to get in was a felt hat. He collected 400 hats in just 2 hours! Donald had helpers, though: in fact, the sculpture’s real name is “Intimate Apparel & Pearl Earrings,” because “pearl earrings” has the same letters as Garlene Parris, a volunteer who helped gather the hats (when you scramble letters to make new words, they’re called “anagrams”). The sculpture includes hats from former President George W. Bush, Texas Governor Rick Perry and actor Chill Wills…hopefully those guys don’t need them back.

Wee ones: Texas is the Lone Star State, so they love stars. How many points does the star have?

Little kids: If the party collected 400 hats over 2 hours, how many hats did they get each hour if the hats were evenly split?  Bonus: If you add your own hat to the sculpture, now many hats does it have?

Big kids: If you love that purple hat up there and take it from the 400, now how many hats does the star have?  Bonus: If the middle of the star has 50 hats and the rest are evenly split among the 5 points, how many hats are on each point?




Wee ones: 5 points.

Little kids: 200 hats.  Bonus: 401 hats.

Big kids: 399 hats.  Bonus: 70 hats, since it leaves 350 hats for the points.

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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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