You’ve probably seen — or maybe even ridden — a bright yellow school bus. There are other kinds of buses in different colors for grown-ups, too. But how many buses can fly through the air? This one can: It’s called the Crazy Bus, and it’s an amusement park ride at Jenkinson’s Aquarium in Point Pleasant, New Jersey. It doesn’t really fly, but those two long bars lift it high in the air and rock it back and forth. It turns out there are more than 200 rides like this around the country! But the people who make them have also shaped them as airplanes, fire trucks, and submarines (boats that go underwater). The bus might be best, though: your ride to school might be a lot more fun if it worked like this.
Wee ones: Most school buses are yellow. How many yellow things do you see in your room? Count them if you can!
Little kids: How many rows of seats does this bus have? (Count 1 row for each “window” you see.) Bonus: If the bus holds just 2 people in each row, how many people can ride the Crazy Bus with you?
Big kids: If your bus ride to school normally takes 40 minutes, but the Crazy Bus could fly you there 26 minutes faster, how long would it take? Bonus: If the 200 “Crazy” rides in the US are evenly divided to be buses, fire trucks, planes and subs, how many rides of each type are there?
Wee ones: Different for everyone…you might find yellow books, flowers, or toy trucks.
Little kids: 6 rows. Bonus: 11 people, since it can hold 12 in total.
Big kids: 14 minutes. Bonus: 50 rides of each.
Laura Bilodeau Overdeck is founder and president of Bedtime Math Foundation. Her goal is to make math as playful for kids as it was for her when she was a child. Her mom had Laura baking before she could walk, and her dad had her using power tools at a very unsafe age, measuring lengths, widths and angles in the process. Armed with this early love of numbers, Laura went on to get a BA in astrophysics from Princeton University, and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business; she continues to star-gaze today. Laura’s other interests include her three lively children, chocolate, extreme vehicles, and Lego Mindstorms.