Have you ever wondered how many people you know? It’s probably more than you think. You have your family, and all your relatives: grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins. Then you have your friends and neighbors. That number keeps getting bigger, too: every time you start a new school year, sports team, or art club, you meet new people. Scientists at Columbia University have guessed that American grown-ups each know and remember around 600 people at any time! And of course, if each of them knows 600 people, and each of thosepeople knows 600 people…that’s a lot of friends you could meet.
Wee ones: How many people live in your home, including you?
Little kids: If you go out for ice cream with 9 friends, how many of you are there in total? Bonus: If each of your friends (but not you) also brings along 1 friend, now how many people go out for ice cream?
Big kids: If you’re counting the 600 people you know, and you’ve counted all but the last one, how many have you counted? Bonus: If you know 30 people and each of them knows 30 others, how many people come to your party if you invite them all? (Hint if needed: What’s 3 times 30, and then what does 30 x 30 have to be? And don’t forget your own 30 friends…)
Wee ones: Different for everyone…count up your family!
Little kids: 10 people. Bonus: 19 people, since the friends bring 9 more people.
Big kids: 599. Bonus: 930, since you have your 30 friends, plus the 30 x 30 who are friends of friends.