Fostering curiosity in kids (and their parents) since 2011

Posts tagged ‘math’

a purple bottle with silver polka dots lies on its side. a measuring tape is stretched across its length.

“How much did that plastic bottle shrink in the dishwasher?”

I got lazy this week so ran my daughter’s plastic (I know) reusable water bottle through the dishwater. It did not survive the experience. (I know.) But it did make for a fabulous opportunity to do a little science (and math — ssh!). Join my daughter and I as we figure out why our plastic water bottle melted in the dishwasher, and by how much.

“What’s the line in a fraction called?”

While we were at lunch last week, The Ten-Year-Old’s mind turned to fractions, as fifth grade minds are prone to do. She had learned in school that the top number in a fraction is called a numerator, while the bottom number is the denominator, so naturally she wondered what the little line in the middle was called.

Ancient stone building with lovely gardens.

“What was the significance of the number 4 in medieval France?”

That tennis post I did last week keeps generating questions. One reader noted that it seemed weird that the 6 sets in medieval tennis contained only 4 60-degree games each, especially if tennis scores were meant to represent the 360 degrees in a circle. Mathematically speaking, it would make more sense to have each set contain 6 games. Which raised the question, why 4? Was the number 4 significant in some way for medieval tennis players?

Mental Math

Mother, graciously interrupting her own story to introduce the cast members to The Four-Year-Old: “We are talking about my cousin, who you probably don’t remember, because…