You know those white or yellow lines painted on the road? How long do you think each dash is? Take a guess…they’re actually 10 feet long, and 30 feet apart! Because we look ahead at dashes that are farther away, they look shorter. Road lines were invented by accident in 1911, when a leaky milk wagon dribbled a straight white line on the street. Today’s trucks drag a paintbrush. But the driver still has to drive very straight, or we’ll get wiggly lines — and some very bad driving.

*Wee ones:* Look around the room. What’s the longest straight line you see?

*Little kids:* If you press the button so the machine paints for 1 second, then leaves a space for 3 seconds, then paints for 1, then skips for 3, how long does that all take? *Bonus:* If you lay down next to one of these 10-foot road stripes, how much longer than you would it be? Find out your height in feet!

*Big kids:* If the 2^{nd} dash you paint is all wiggly, then the 5^{th} dash, then the 8^{th} dash, what number dash is the 7^{th} wiggly one? See if you can get it without counting! *Bonus:* A gallon of paint can make 180 feet of painted line. If you’re painting 10-foot-long dashes, how many dashes can you paint with 1 gallon?

Answers:

*Wee ones:* Different for everyone…it might be a door frame, a stripe down a curtain, or the edge of the rug.

*Little kids:* 8 seconds. *Bonus:* Different for everyone again… subtract your height in feet from 10.

*Big kids:* The 20^{th}, since each wiggly dash’s position is 1 less than 3 times its “wiggle count” (so the 7^{th} is 1 less than 7 x 3). *Bonus:* 18 dashes.