Before You Pop It…

June 11th is Corn on the Cob Day, a great time to celebrate a very math-y food. For one thing, corn kernels grow in nice neat rows, and any ear of corn will have an even number of rows in total. There are usually 16 rows, holding 800 kernels. But no one’s going to complain if their corn on the cob has 18 or 20 rows.

Wee ones: Corn can grow in many colors: purple, green, blackish, bluish, red, white, and of course yellow. How many colors is that?

Little kids: If an ear of corn has to have an even number of rows, can it have 5 rows?  Bonus: If an ear has 16 rows and you munch them one at a time until there are 10 left, what numbers do you say to count down the rows you eat?

Big kids: A bushel (8-gallon barrel) of corn has enough sugar to sweeten 400 cans of soda! How many cans can you sweeten with 2 bushels?  Bonus: If you start at row 1 and eat every 3rd row of corn as you go 1 full time around a cob with 16 rows, how many rows do you eat without passing where you started?

The sky’s the limit: If an ear of corn has 800 kernels in 16 rows, how many in each row? (Hint if needed: To divide a number by 16, just cut it in half 4 times in a row.)

Wee ones: 7 colors.

Little kids: No, since 5 is an odd number.  Bonus: 16, 15, 14, 13, 12, 11.

Big kids: 800 cans.  Bonus: 6 in total: you’ll eat rows 1, 4, 7, 10, 13, and 16.

The sky’s the limit: 50 kernels per row.

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