Colorado turns 143 years old today. That’s worth a high five – or a mile-high five! Denver (Colorado’s capital) is nicknamed “The Mile High City” because it is 1 mile above sea level. The 1-mile height is marked all around town, like with a special purple row of seats at the baseball stadium. Colorado is high above the ocean because of the Rocky Mountains. But it’s not all snow – the state is also home to the country’s tallest sand dunes! It even has the highest alligator park. In fact, 3/4 of all U.S. land that’s more than 10,000 feet above sea level is in Colorado. That definitely makes this state hard to top!

*Wee ones:* People say that Colorado is the most rectangular state. Can you find 5 rectangles near you? Look around the room!

*Little kids:* The marker at the capitol building showing “1 mile high” has changed twice: it started at the 15th step, but moved to the 18th step, and then again to the 13th. Which of those changes moved the marker more steps? *Bonus:* How many years from now (2019) will Colorado turn 150? (Hint if needed: Try counting up from 143!)

*Big kids:* Colorado is called “The Centennial State” because it was founded in 1876, 100 years after America was born. When will it have its “bicentennial” when it turns 200 years old? *Bonus:*There are 96 mountaintops in the U.S. taller than 14,000 feet, and Colorado has 53 of them! If all the other states combine their 14,000-foot peaks, can they have more than Colorado?

*The sky’s the limit:* Because Colorado has both deserts and mountains, it can get really hot AND really cold. The warmest temperature ever in Colorado was 118 degrees F, and the coldest was -61 degrees F. Is the midpoint of those two temperatures above the freezing point? (32 degrees F)

Answers:

*Wee ones:* Rectangles might include books, windows, doors, cereal boxes, and many other objects!

*Little kids:* The move from the 18th step to the 13th, because that was a change of 5 steps. The move from 15th to 18th was a change of only 3 steps. *Bonus:* 7 more years.

*Big kids:* In 2076 – still more than 50 years from now! *Bonus:* Not quite, because 96 – 53 = 43 mountains in the other states, which is less than Colorado’s 53.

*The sky’s the limit:* No, because the midpoint is 28 1/2 degrees F. The midpoint can be found by finding the average of the temperatures: (118 + -61) / 2 = 57 / 2 = 28 1/2.