Donuts in Space

The donut has been a favorite treat for hundreds of years. But we bet you’ve never tried to shoot one into outer space. Two brothers, Alexander and Benjamin Jönsson, took a yummy glazed donut with sprinkles, stuck it on a plastic shelf with a camera, and strapped the whole thing to a weather balloon. The balloon carried the donut more than 20 miles up into the sky! To launch your own food flight and create a customized “add-lib” version of this Bedtime Math story, click here!

Wee Ones: What shape is that kind of donut?

Little Kids: If you launched a donut, 2 cookies and a brownie into space, how many astro-snacks is that? 
Bonus: If the donut had taken off at 1:00 in the morning and flown 5 hours, would it have landed in time for your 7:00 am breakfast?

Big Kids: Regular airplanes fly about 7 miles above Earth. This donut flew 20 miles high. If you flew to an altitude (height) halfway between the two, how high would you be?
Bonus: If the donut faced the Sun at 3:00 pm and spun all the way around every 4 minutes (at a constant speed), is it facing towards or away from the Sun at 3:18 pm?

The Sky's the Limit: If the donut traveled for 5 hours in total, but within that spent 9 times as long floating up as falling back down (with no break in between), how much of the trip did it spend falling?


Wee Ones: The donut is a circle…and the grown-up word for a tube wrapped end to end into a circle is a “torus.”

Little Kids: 4 astro-snacks.
Bonus: Yes, since it would have landed at 6:00 am.

Big Kids: At 13 1/2 miles. The gap between the two is 13, and half of that is 6 1/2 miles. You can then add 6 1/2 to 7, or subtract it from 20. 
Bonus: Facing away, since it would face the Sun at 3:16 and 3:20.

The Sky's the Limit: 1/2 hour. If the donut spends 9 parts of the trip going up and 1 part going down, that makes 10 equal parts in total, where it spends 9/10 of the trip going up and 1/10 falling. 1/10 of 5 hours is 1/2 hour.

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