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Fourth of July Fireworks Study


Today's Snack: On the Fourth of July or any time you're feeling patriotic, take a large marshmallow, a toothpick, a large strawberry and a large blueberry. With an adult's help, cut the green top off the strawberry and place it, flat side down, on the marshmallow. Place the blueberry on top. Push the toothpick through it all so that it'll stand in a tower. Voila: red, white and blue! Once you've admired it, pull the parts off, carefully, and eat! But don't eat the toothpick!





One 50' or 100' measuring tape

Sidewalk chalk or rag

Friend or adult with a watch with second hand or stopwatch



Those big, wonderful, aerial fireworks shot off by professionals in Fourth of July fireworks shows are pretty speedy.


They may shoot 300 feet in the air before they explode, but it only takes a few seconds. Wow!


Let's do a little measurement study and practice some multiplication.


Let's pretend that you are a firecracker, and once your fuse is lit and you start to move, you can fly at 125 feet per second.


Tape your measuring tape and measure on your driveway, sidewalk, lawn or parking lot a total of 125 feet. Mark with sidewalk chalk on pavement, or leave a rag on the grass.


Now, stand at the starting line and ask a friend or adult to time you, using a watch with a second hand or a stopwatch, and see how far you can run in one second. Go your very fastest, but stop at one second.


Hmm. Didn't get very far, did you? That's how much faster a firecracker can fly than you can run.


Now, for some Fourth of July math: let's say that the firecracker is going to travel at 125 feet per second and will fly for three full seconds before it explodes in a gorgeous red, white and blue display.


Your problem is: how many feet in the air, total, does that firecracker fly in three seconds?







(Answer: 375 feet; 3 seconds x 125 feet per second)



By Susan Darst Williams Math 2012

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