Can you spin around once? Good. Can you spin around 3 times? Great! Now, can you spin around 3 times on a skateboard in midair? Well, so far only 4 people on Earth have done that. At age 11, Gui Khury pulled off a 1,080-degree spin (360 degrees is 1 full circle, so 3 full spins = 360 + 360 + 360 = 1,080). A few people have done this before on a super big ramp, but none on the plain old halfpipe. So Gui must have been feeling pretty happy – and maybe a little dizzy, too.
Wee ones: Can you spin 3 times to your left, then 3 times to your right? Count as you spin!
Little kids: If you spin on your skateboard 3 full times to the right, then 2 times to the left, then another 3 spins to the right, how many spins is all that? Bonus: If you want to do an even number of spins and you’ve already spun 8 times, should you do 1 or 2 more 3-spin tricks?
Big kids: The old record on this type of ramp was a 900-degree spin. How many more degrees are in the 1,080-degree spin? Bonus: How many full spins did the 900-degree trick include?
Wee ones: Count up the spins: 1, 2, 3 to the left, 1, 2, 3, to the right!
Little kids: 8 spins: 3 + 2 + 3. Bonus: 2 more, because adding 3 spins to 8 would give you 10. Adding an odd number to an even number will always give you an odd sum!
Big kids: 180 more degrees. You can do straight subtraction, or “count up” from 900: 100 to reach 1,000 + 80 to reach 1,080. Bonus: Just 2 full spins, because 360 x 2 is 720, the largest number of 360s you can fit in 900. The 3rd full spin takes you to 1,080.
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.