Flying a plane may look tricky, but even dogs are doing it now. Zoologist Mark Vette has trained 3 rescue dogs to fly a plane. Reggie, Shadow and Alfie can all fly a plane for up to 15 minutes. They can fly straight, on turns, and even in a figure 8. They first practiced on a “simulator,” which is like a video game: they learned to turn left when little blue lights lit up, right for the red lights, and straight for the white ones. After 4 months the dogs could then fly a real plane in the air. The dogs fly very carefully, even though they keep turning to sniff the copilot and to eat doggie treats. Mark has also trained dogs to drive cars. We’ll see which dogs can get places faster!
Wee ones: If Mark has trained 5 driving dogs and 3 flying dogs, are there more driving dogs or flying dogs?
Little kids: If 1 dog flies 2 times this week and another dog flies twice as many times, how many times does the 2nd dog fly? Bonus: How many more times would that 2nd dog have to fly to reach 10 dog flights?
Big kids: If a people plane flies 600 miles an hour, and the dog plane flies that speed minus 200, plus 50, minus another 100, how fast is the dog plane? Bonus: If the dogs fly some 3-digit number of miles whose digits are all different, go from smallest to biggest from left to right, and add up to 7, how many miles must the dog have flown?
Wee ones: More driving dogs.
Little kids: 4 times. Bonus: 6 more times.
Big kids: 350 miles an hour. Bonus: 124 miles. The only sets of digits that can add to 7 are 1, 1 and 5; 1, 2, and 4; 1, 3 and 3; and 2, 2 and 3. Only 1, 2 and 4 has 3 different digits.
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.