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Ready, Set, Sit!

by Derek Stump

Have you ever sat on a chair with wheels? Those chairs are called office chairs, because grown-ups like to pretend they’re only used for very serious business. But the truth is everyone likes to spin and zoom around on those wheels. Some people will do it for hours! That’s the idea behind office chair racing competitions in Japan. Teams of 3 people race around a 200-meter, or 1/8-mile, long course to see how many laps they can roll in 2 hours. With those miles adding up, maybe it’s hard work after all.


Wee ones: Wheels look like circles (from the side). Can you find a circle nearby?


Little kids: Most office chairs have 5 wheels. If you put an office chair in a car with 4 wheels, how many wheels does that make all together? Bonus: If you roll 2 laps, then walk 1 lap, then roll 2 laps again to repeat the pattern, are you rolling or walking on your 8th lap?


Big kids: If the winning team wheeled 18 miles, and each racer on that 3-person team rolled an equal part of it, how many miles did each racer roll? Bonus: Since the course was 1/8-mile long, how many laps did each of those racers roll?

Answers:

Wee ones: You might find a plate or a cup, a toothpaste cap, a clock, a coin… or many other possibilities!


Little kids: 9 wheels. Bonus: You’re rolling, since you restart the pattern on rolling the 7th and 8th.


Big kids: 6 miles. Bonus: 48 laps.

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