Climbing to Infinity

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.

Climbing to Infinity

November 21, 2014

If you love climbing, do we have the jungle gym for you. It’s the new Infinity Climber at Liberty Science Center. “Infinity” is a math word: it means “forever” or “endlessness,” as opposed to a number that stops, like 100,000,000,000,000,000. No matter how big a number you imagine, you can always add 1 and get a bigger number, so we need the idea of infinity to get past all that. The Infinity Climber doesn’t go on forever, but it does have 19 miles of wire stretching around those steel pipes, making 64 flower-petal shapes that together weigh 21,000 pounds! Best of all, 50 people can climb on it at the same time.

Wee ones: If you lie across a 7-foot-long petal, who’s longer, you or the petal? What does 7 feet look like on the floor?

Little kids: If you climb on 10 miles of the 19 miles of wire, how many more miles of wire do you have left to climb?  Bonus: If you’ve scrambled across all but 1 of the 64 petal shapes, how many have you climbed on so far?

Big kids: The climber itself is 19 feet tall, but it’s attached to the wall 16 feet up off the ground. How high off the ground do you get if you climb to the top?  Bonus: If people can climb for 20 minutes and you’ve been on there for 14 minutes 23 seconds, how much time do you have left to climb?




Wee ones: The petal. If you have a measuring tape, see what 7 feet looks like compared to you!

Little kids: 9 more miles.  Bonus: 63 petals.

Big kids: 35 feet high.  Bonus: 5 minutes 37 seconds.

And a reminder that as a Bedtime Math fan, you can visit LSC and climb this crazy thing for $3 off per person – click here for the coupon. And if you’re in the New Jersey/New York City area tomorrow, Saturday 11/22, you can watch tightrope stuntman Nik Wallenda do the first climb, and take your photo with him!
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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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