It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s…You?

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.

It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s…You?

July 6, 2015

If you wish you could just jump up and fly like a bird, we have great news for you. Someday soon you may get to wear your own jetpack, basically a small rocket engine that you strap onto your back. Martin Aircraft has made a jetpack that can carry you 3,000 feet into the air and zoom you around at 46 miles per hour. It weighs 265 pounds when full of fuel, but that fuel will let the rider fly for half an hour. Martin will sell its first jetpacks next year to search and rescue folks who need to save people in trouble quickly. Then a year later they’ll sell them to anyone – well, anyone who happens to have $150,000 handy. The fact is, Swiss pilot Yves Rossy has been flying with a jetpack for years…looks like now everyone else wants to get in on the fun.

Wee ones: If the pack has 4 engines and you fuel up 3 of them, how many are left to fill?

Little kids: If you flew 10 minutes to your friend’s house and 10 minutes back, how much longer could the 30-minute jetpack fly?  Bonus: If we have to wait until the year 2017 to get our own jetpack and right now it’s 2015, how many years do we have to wait?

Big kids: If you take off at 2:50 pm and fly as long as you can (half an hour), when will you land?  Bonus: If the jetpack can lift 400 pounds total, including its own 265 pounds of weight, could you take off with it right now?




Wee ones: 1 more.

Little kids: 10 more minutes, since you’ve flown for 20.  Bonus: 2 more years.

Big kids: At 3:20 pm.  Bonus: Different for everyone…if you weigh 135 pounds or less, then yes! (You can see that it can lift at least 100 pounds, so if you weigh less than that, even without much math you can tell it would lift you.)

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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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