Guinea Pigs Above the Rim

by Derek Stump

In basketball, one of the most exciting plays is a “slam dunk.” That’s when a player leaps up to the hoop and jams the ball through, before hanging on the orange rim for style points. It turns out humans aren’t the only animals who like to dunk. Molly the guinea pig just dunked 4 times in 30 seconds to set a world record! Her basketball game is a little different, or little and different – she grabs a 2-inch wide ball with her mouth, then dunks on a hoop that’s only a few inches above the ground (check it out here). But this record still marks new heights for guinea pigs!  


Wee ones: Can you jump 4 times? Count out loud as you jump!  


Little kids: If each dunk scores 2 points, how many points did Molly score with 4 dunks? Try counting up by 2s! Bonus: If a human-size basketball is 7 inches wider than Molly’s 2-inch wide basketball, how wide is a human basketball? 


Big kids: Would dunking 1 time every 10 seconds break this record? Bonus: In basketball you can score 2-point and 3-point baskets. If a team has 12 points, all from 2 or 3-point baskets, how many different ways could they have scored those 12 points? (Don’t worry about the order, just how many types of baskets!) 

Answers:

Wee ones: Count your jumps: 1, 2, 3, 4! 


Little kids: 8 points: 2 + 2 + 2 + 2. Bonus: 9 inches wide. 


Big kids: No, that would only make 3 dunks in 30 seconds! Bonus: There are 3 ways: 3 + 3 + 3 + 3; 3 + 3 + 2 + 2 + 2; 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2. 

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