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Help Watch the Penguins!

by Derek Stump

Have you ever seen a penguin? You can see tons (literally) of penguins right now! In fact, our fan Carolyn L. just shared that scientists need your help counting all these penguins. They’ve set up cameras recording hundreds and thousands of these birds – and their eggs and baby chicks. Now anyone with a computer can look at a picture on Penguin Watch, and click on all the penguins to help out. We wonder if these birds know they’re famous…maybe that’s why they’re wearing those spiffy black and white suits.  


Wee ones: If you’ve counted 3 penguins, what number penguin do you count next? 


Little kids: Every penguin has 2 wings – even if those wings work better for swimming than flying. How many wings are there in a group of 2 adult penguins and 2 penguin baby chicks? Try counting up by 2s! Bonus: If 3 more penguins come sliding in on their bellies to join them, now how many penguins are there – and how many wings do they have? 


Big kids: If you count 21 penguins in a clump, and it looks like there are 5 clumps that size, how many penguins do you estimate (guess) are on screen? Bonus: 20 penguins decide to help the counting by lining up in a nice neat rectangle. How many ways could those penguins line up in equal-length rows? 

Answers:

Wee ones: 4! 


Little kids: 8 wings. Bonus:7 penguins, with 14 wings. 


Big kids: 105 penguins. Bonus: 6 ways: 1 row of 20, 2 rows of 10, 4 rows of 5, 5 rows of 4, 10 little rows of 2, and 20 “rows” of 1 each. 

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