So, when you fold a piece of paper in half like this:
It would now be twice as thick as the original sheet of paper. Based on this information, here is the question/hook:
How many times would you have to fold this paper onto itself to reach the moon?
A. 4 B. 18 C. 42 D. 94 E. 236 F. 898 G. 6,232 H. Over 1 million
BTW: The mean distance from the earth to the moon is 384,000km.
The answer may surprise you! To see if you are correct, check out this great blog by Ethan Siegel of Lewis and Clark College http://scienceblogs.com/startswithabang/2009/08/paper_folding_to_the_moon.php
The would make a great “bellringer” or short activity in a math class. It is full of possibilities: Exponential growth, scientific notation, basic skills practice, critical thinking, student writing…not to mention the great connection to science!