Tag Archives: Measurement

Scotch Tape and Gas Prices Dilemma

So, my whole recent obsession with Scotch Tape sort of began a few weeks ago when the following problem popped into my mind…

Suppose your boss wants you to buy six 1/2 in x 450 in rolls of Scotch tape at the dollar store (remember the 6% Michigan sales tax).  Your boss wants you to use the tape to enclose an area of 3,225.8 square cm, but has only given you a budget of $7.00 to do so, including the amount of gas to drive back and forth to the dollar store, which is exactly 1.5 miles away from work.  Your car gets 0.0735 liters per kilometer city (you will not be taking the highway), gas is $4.09 per gallon, and your boss does not care about the gas that it takes to actually start your car.  Do you have enough tape to enclose the area that your boss asked to have enclosed?  If you do have enough tape, explain why.  If you do not have enough tape, do you at least have enough money to buy another roll of tape?  If you need to buy another roll of tape, but cannot afford to, how much short would you be?  If this is the case, would it be worth it to pay the amount out of your own pocket, or would you rather call your boss and explain the situation?


New Application Problems from the Classroom

Here are few more problems that I came up with during today’s class:

1.  Clyde owed 8 different people $4 each for some doughnuts that he bought to eat on his birthday. Then when he wasn’t looking, Hellman’s stole $4 from Clyde’s wallet.  In order to reclaim his debt, Clyde needed to split up his total losses over a period of nine months.  How much debt will he recover over each of the nine months?

2.  Clyde went to the store and he bought seven nuclear weapons, but he doesn’t know the price of them yet.  He had to return four of the weapons because they were defective.  Then Clyde had to pay $9 in order to bribe a government official into letting him keep the weapons.  Finally, when buying the weapons, Clyde had a $4 off coupon.  How much did Clyde pay since he did not yet know the price per weapon?

3.  The hypotenuse of a right triangle is the median of {0.52, 0.69, 0.71, 0.34, 0.54} and one of the legs is the median of {0.26, 0.12, 0.35, 0.43, 0.28}.  Find the length of the missing side.

4.  The length of a boat is the mean of {11, 32, 21, 74, 32, 25, 29} ft.  Convert the length of the boat to meters.

5.  The diameter of a doughnut is the average of {3.6, 7.4, 3.9, 6.2, 7.6} cm.  Convert the diameter to millimeters.

Joliprint, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and Teaching Measurement

There have been so many times when I have wanted to print something from the web, but have had a very hard time getting it to print out correctly.  Joliprint is a resource that will definitely solve (most) of your problems.  For example, the other day, I printed this Convert, then Compete blog post from the Chronicle of Higher Education with the intent of having my students read the article and then write a paragraph response.  By the way, this turned out the be a very good activity that went along with the discussion of measurement in my Developmental Math class.  However, the print ended up being small and quite awkward.  Joliprint solved all of my problems, and I wish I had known about it BEFORE I printed this article for my students.  If you don’t believe me, take a look at the before and after, and I think you’ll be a Joliprint fan.  I know I am.

Before Joliprint:

Convert, Then Compete – Brainstorm – The Chronicle of Higher Education.pdf
Download this file

After Joliprint:

Download this file

Dimensional Analysis Problem

The other day in my Pre-Algebra class at HFCC we were talking about geometry, but I wanted to link it to the dimensional analysis that we had just done in the previous chapter since I knew that some of the students were struggling with the concept and could probably use the review.  So, when the opportunity arose, I came up with a problem off the top of my head.  This isn’t something that I usually do because I have a hard time being creative under the pressure of standing in front of a room full of students.  However, I think that this problem just became an instant classic in my book, and that I will probably use the problem as an example again in the future.  Take a look for yourself.