60 Years of Awesomeness

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.

60 Years of Awesomeness

September 25, 2014

If you love a good contest and a chance to win a prize, you might be excited about a new one at Guinness World Records. As of this year they’ve been tracking records for 60 years, and so they’re celebrating their own birthday with a competition: Pick your favorite world record and write about it in exactly 60 words. No more, no less – exactly 60 words. They can be in the form of a poem, a song or a rap, and people can either write it down or sing it on camera and send the video. As we know here at Bedtime Math, some records are really, really wacky, everything from smashing eggs on one’s head to changing clothes while jumping on a trampoline. You can check out our Round-Up post today to see the full list! In the meantime, check out the Guinness site here: if you’re a kid who’s 7 to 12 years old, you may enter the contest and get your name and picture in their 2016 record book. Hey, it’s easier to write 60 words than to do a handstand on a moving skateboard.

Wee ones: Who’s been around longer, the Guinness World Records or the now 59-year-old guy who did the longest handstand on a skateboard?

Little kids: If your first try at writing your song ends up with 50 words, how many more words does it need?  Bonus: Back in 1996, Sam Tartamella did that handstand on a skateboard that rolled a full 2,255 feet. If you try this stunt and break his record by 1 foot, how far did your skateboard handstand roll?

Big kids: If you do a handstand on a rolling skateboard and you fall short of Sam’s 2,255 feet by 100 feet, for how far did you roll?  Bonus: If Guinness has collected world records for 60 years, in what year did they start?

The sky’s the limit: Suppose you write a 60-word rap about your favorite trampoline record, and the words shake out like this:
– 1/6 of the words are the word “the”
– 1/5 of the words have just 1 or 2 letters
– 1/4 of the words have 6 letters or more
– you use the word “jump” 3 more times than the word “fly”

What’s the greatest number of times the word “jump” can show up in your rap? (Don’t worry about whether the resulting rap will make any sense…)

 

 

 

Answers:
Wee ones: Guinness has been around longer.

Little kids: 10 more words.  Bonus: 2,256 feet.

Big kids: 2,155 feet.  Bonus: In 1954.

The sky’s the limit: 13 times. Of the 60 words, we have to set aside the 10 “the’s,” the 12 words that are too short to be “jump” or “fly,” and the 15 words that are too long. Once we drop those 37 words, that leaves us with 23 words that can be jump or fly. If every single one were jump or fly, to find the maximum we take away the 3 extra jumps and cut the rest in half. That means you’re saying “fly” 10 times at most and “jump” 13 times.

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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 while still in diapers, 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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