The ocean floor looks so beautiful and cool. But it’s a lot of work to swim down there with an air tank to take pictures. So, let a turtle do the work! Some scientists strapped a videocamera onto the back of a sea turtle. We can now watch everything the turtle saw while swimming through the beautiful Great Barrier Reef. Of course, sea turtles swim at less than 2 miles an hour (a little slower than we humans walk), so the trip isn’t speedy. But these slowpokes live for up to 80 years, and can stay underwater for 5 minutes at a time. Many of them swim up to 1,500 miles to lay eggs on the same beach where they were born. Carrying a camera is easier!
Wee ones: If a turtle has 2 back legs and 2 front legs, how many legs does it have?
Little kids: Sea turtles swim as slowly as we walk. Walk across the room and count your steps. What number did you reach? Bonus: Sea turtles’ shells have 5 hexagon shapes on top, with 4 pentagons on the left and 4 more on the right. How many total shapes is that?
Big kids: If the turtle goes underwater at exactly 3:55 pm and stays under for 5 minutes, at what time does it come up? Bonus: If this turtle is 51 years old, how much longer than you has it lived — or how much longer have you lived?
Wee ones: 4 legs.
Little kids: Different for everyone…see if you can count that high! Bonus: 13 shapes.
Big kids: At 4:00 pm. Those 5 minutes finish the 60 minutes in the hour. Bonus: Different for everyone…subtract your age in years from 51, or subtract 51 from your age.
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.