Paper Folding to the Moon

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!

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Math Activities, Math Classroom and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s