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Throw Those Snowflakes!

by Laura Overdeck

With December finally here, you might get a snowfall very soon. Snow means snowball fights, so our fan Lucas W. asked, how many snowflakes are in a snowball? We love this kind of question, because it’s way easier to use math than to count the flakes! For starters, Sue at this web page tells us that 50 snowflakes weigh 1 gram, the weight of a paper clip. There are about 28 grams in an ounce (about half a candy bar) and 16 ounces in a pound, so 1 pound of snow has 50 x 28 x 16 flakes, or 22,400 snowflakes. That’s a pretty heavy snowball, but as Lucas pointed out the world’s largest snowball was more than 10 feet across. Better get out of the way from that one!

Wee ones: Snow (if it’s clean) is white. Find 5 white things in your room.

Little kids: If a snowflake has 6 sides, how many more sides does it have than a square? Bonus: If snowflakes fly by and you catch the 3rd one on your tongue, then the 6th, then the 9th…which one do you think you catch next?

Big kids: If you catch 300 snowflakes (the weight of 6 paper clips), what numbers would you say to count up by 50s? Bonus: If your 1st snowball has 19,000 snowflakes, your 2nd has 37,000 snowflakes, and your 3rd’s number of snowflakes is halfway between, how many flakes does your 3rd snowball have? (Hint: You can ignore the thousands and work with the smaller numbers first, then multiply your answer by 1,000).

 

 

 

Answers:

Wee ones: Items might include paper, bed sheets, pillows, socks, or tissues.

Little kids: 2 more sides. Bonus: The 12th snowflake, since it’s every 3rd flake.

Big kids: 50, 100, 150, 200, 250, 300. Bonus: 28,000 flakes.

 

 

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