Tomorrow, June 22nd, is the final day of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, where our furry friends try to show us they’re the top dog. It’s a tough job. Their handlers attack them with brushes, barrettes and blow-driers to make them look perfect. Then the dogs have to trot around the ring without barking, drooling, or sniffing the other dogs. There are many “breeds” of dog — with different sizes, shapes, colors of fur, and amounts of furriness — and each breed has a perfect look that every dog tries to match. Once dogs win the top prize, they never come back again, so every year we get a new champ! Let’s see who wears the barrettes the best and drools the least.
Wee ones: Get on your hands and knees like a dog, and bark exactly 4 times!
Little kids: The dogs clump into 7 “groups,” like “Working Dogs” and “Toy Dogs.” If you have 1 pet dog from each group except a Toy Dog, how many pet dogs do you have? Bonus: If you had 3 pet dogs, who would have more total legs: the dogs, or you and your family?
Big kids: Some dogs come in different sizes, like the miniature, standard, and giant schnauzer. If 20 of each size of schnauzer compete today, how many schnauzers show up in total? Bonus: If the 192 breeds EACH had exactly 20 dogs competing, how many dogs would come to the show this year? (Hint if needed: multiplying by 20 is the same as multiplying by 2, then by 10.)
Wee ones: Count your barks: 1, 2, 3, 4.
Little kids: 6 dogs. Bonus: Different for everyone…the dogs have 3 x 4 = 12 legs, then count up your family’s legs with 2 per person.
Big kids: 60 schnauzers. Bonus: 3,840 dogs!
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.