The Bungee Dunker

Bungee jumping is that crazy sport where you hook yourself to a long, stretchy bungee cord on a bridge or cliff, then jump off. You fall FAST until the cord stretches out, then you snap back up towards the sky. If you do the math wrong, you crash into the ground. Well, Simon Berry did the math right: he bungee-jumped from 240 feet above and perfectly dunked a chocolate cookie in a cup of tea! If you don’t believe it, check out the video.

Wee ones: Hold 2 things that won’t break, like a stuffed animal and a bouncy ball. Hold one thing in each hand and drop them from the same height at the same time. Do they reach the ground at the same time? See what happens!

Little kids: If Simon counted down the last 5 seconds before jumping, what numbers did he say?  Bonus: If he took 5 seconds to fall and dunk the cookie, then 5 seconds to snap back up, how many seconds did his whole bungee trip take?

Big kids: Simon fell 240 feet 10 inches, then zoomed back up 240 feet 10 inches. How far did he zoom through the air in total, in feet and inches?  Bonus: If halfway down Simon started screaming in panic, how much farther did he have left to fall to reach the cup of tea?

The sky’s the limit — literally: If your bungee cord lets you fall 1 foot the 1st second, then 3 more feet during the 2nd second, then 5 more feet during the 3rd second…will you fall 49 feet in a round number of seconds? And can you tell quickly without adding up all the numbers?


Wee ones: Unless one of the things you drop catches air and floats (like a piece of paper), they should hit the ground at the same time!

Little kids: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1!  Bonus: 10 seconds.

Big kids: 481 feet 8 inches, since he fell 480 feet plus 20 inches.   Bonus: 120 feet 5 inches.

The sky’s the limit — literally: Yes! You might have noticed that each time you add the next odd number, you get a new “perfect square” as the total — a number that is some other number times itself (1×1, 2×2, 3×3, and so on). You get 1 foot in total, then 4 feet total after 2 seconds, 9 feet after 3 seconds…so you’ll reach 49 feet in 7 seconds.

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