A license plate is that little metal rectangle on a car with a set of letters and numbers. License plates are much harder to break than the plates in your kitchen. But one guy broke 23 of them – and he did it in 60 seconds! Bill Clark is a “strongman” who does stunts like rolling up frying pans, lifting cars, and yes, ripping license plates right in half. The real question is, if Bill can do so much in just 1 minute, what can he break in an hour?

*Wee ones: *If a license plate has 3 letters and 4 numbers, does it have more letters or numbers?

*Little kids: *If Bill breaks his own record of 23 by 1 more license plate, how many doe he break? *Bonus: *How many pieces does he make if he snaps 8 license plates in half?

*Big kids: *Say Bill can’t keep up the record pace, and snaps “only” 20 license plates in the 2^{nd} minute, 17 in the 3^{rd} minute, 14 in the 4^{th} minute… what’s the pattern, and how many do you think he snaps in the 7^{th} minute? *Bonus: *If Bill had snapped 1 license plate every 3 seconds for 1 minute, would he have set the record at 23 plates?

*The sky’s the limit: *If Bill can keep breaking 23 plates per minute, how long would it take him to break more than 1,000 plates?

**Answers:**

*Wee ones: *There are more numbers, because 4 is more than 3.

*Little kids: *24 license plates. *Bonus: *16 pieces, because each snapped plate makes 2 pieces, and 8 x 2 = 16.

*Big kids: *Bill snaps 3 fewer plates in each minute, so he’d snap 11 in the 5^{th} minute, 8 in the 6^{th} minute, and 5 in the 7^{th} minute.* Bonus: *No, he would’ve only snapped 20 plates, because 60 divided by 3 equals 20.

*The sky’s the limit: *44 minutes to break 1,012 plates. You can break this problem into more manageable chunks by reasoning that Bill breaks 230 plates in 10 minutes. Then counting up by 10-minute increments, you arrive at 460 plates in 20 minutes, 690 plates in 30 minutes, and 920 plates in 40 minutes. The remaining 80 plates will take more than 3 minutes, since 23 * 3 = 69, so all told it takes 40 + 4 minutes.