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Run-Walk Challenge


Today's Snack: Better stock up on some energy with trail mix for this one, and bring water for the journey!





Adult supervision | car odometer or hand-held pedometer

Watch with a second hand, or stopwatch

Wire landscaping flag or other marker for the halfway point



Here's a little real-world math problem that also gains you some exercise! Here's the situation:



Sierra and Pierre are brother and sister. They are racing from their home to the school. Sierra runs half the distance and walks half the distance. Pierre runs half the time and walks half the time. They both run at the same speed and walk at the same speed. Who arrives at school first?



Let's act this out to find the answer. You will need at least two people. If you have a big group, have half of your group be "Sierra" and the other half be "Pierre."



View Details



1.      If you're in a group meeting at school or somewhere else, use the school as your starting point, and decide on a neighborhood landmark that's a reasonable distance away - maybe a half-mile, for example.


2.      If you're at home, and school is not too far away, make school the destination. (A "destination" - pronounced "dess tin A shun") is a place you are going to.) If you're at school and there's a park a few blocks away, that might make a good destination. Pick a specific ending place, such as the slide in the park, or the front door of your school building.


3.      First, let's figure out the distance. An adult with a car can use its odometer, or an adult walking can use the pedometer, to help you measure the distance between your starting point and the destination. Don't forget to bring a wire landscaping flag or other marker so that you can pinpoint the halfway mark when you get there.


4.      After you've measured the distance, divide that distance in half to find your halfway point. Let's say you measured the distance as .6 of 1 mile - just over half a mile. Using your car odometer or your walking pedometer, go again from your starting point toward the destination, and stop at .3 of 1 mile - which is the halfway point.


5.      Stick the landscaping flag in the ground, temporarily. That's the point at which the student(s) playing "Sierra" should stop walking and start running.


6.      Now let's measure the time between the starting point and the destination.


7.      First, walk at an even pace from the starting point to the halfway point. Record how long it takes you. Then, run back to your starting point, again traveling at an even pace the whole time, and record THAT amount of time.


8.      Now add your walking time to your running time. Let's say you come up with 15 minutes and 30 seconds. Divide that time by two. Your answer would be 7 minutes and 45 seconds.


9.      That's the amount of time it would take to run halfway, and walk halfway, to your destination.


10. Now let's see who gets there first!


11. "Sierra" should walk to the halfway point, and then run to the destination.


12. Carrying a watch or stopwatch, "Pierre" should walk for half of the time, and then run for the second half of the time.


Who will win?!?!


















(Answer: Who gets there first? Pierre, because he spends more time running than walking. The time spent going faster is more valuable than the distance spent going faster, if you divide them both in half)


By Susan Darst Williams Math 2010

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