What Do Marshmallows, Batteries, and Glue Have in Common?

June 11 is Corn on the Cob Day, a great time to celebrate a very math-y food. The kernels are actually seeds, and every ear of corn grows an even number of rows. Most ears have 16 rows, which hold 800 kernels in total. We use corn to make more than 3,500 things, including cereal, peanut butter and marshmallows. The starch is also used to make fireworks, glue, and batteries. Very cool, but the foods sound yummier.

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: A number is even if it can be cut into 2 equal parts. What numbers from 1 to 10 are even?  Bonus: All even numbers end in the same digits as those 5 numbers. If an ear of corn has to have an even number of rows, can it have 15 rows?

Big kids: If you eat every 3rd row of corn as you go 1 full time around a cob with 16 rows, at most how many rows can you eat without passing where you started?  Bonus: A bushel (8-gallon barrel) of corn holds enough sugar to sweeten 400 cans of soda. If you drink 1 of those cans, how many cans are left?

Answers:
Wee ones: 7 colors.

Little kids: 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10.  Bonus: No, because 5 isn’t even, either.

Big kids: 6 rows at most: rows 1, 4, 7, 10, 13, and 16.  Bonus: 399 cans.

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